Protect yourself during a brownout - FOX 32 News Chicago

Protect yourself during a brownout

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(Photo by JeffersonDavis/Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 license) (Photo by JeffersonDavis/Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 license)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Rolling brownouts may also be a measure taken by the city or ComEd during extreme heat. Sometimes when it is too hot, power companies schedule power shut downs in non-overlapping sections of the Chicago area for short periods of time.

Rolling brownouts prevent system-wide blackouts in situations where the company may not be able to produce enough power to support the number of air-conditioners and fans being used during a heat wave.

Contact your local government offices or power company or visit their website to find out if rolling brown outs will be scheduled during this stretch of heat.

Should a rolling brownout or blackout occur, these are some precautions you might consider taking:

  • Turn off and unplug any appliances to prevent damage when power returns after an outage. The fresh surge of electricity can sometimes destroy or degrade the plug or outlet if they are still connected.
  • Use flashlights of rechargeable lamps when the lights go out. Do not use candles to see unless absolutely necessary. They can cause fires if you fall asleep, leave it unattended or knock it over while in use.
  • Keep cool. The air-conditioning and electric fans will not work during a brown out. Change into thin clothes, create makeshift fans, drink lots of water and be still so as not to overheat or over-exert yourself during a power outage.
  • Canned and dry goods are the best foods to buy and store if you're anticipating a black out. Food that spoils easily will be alright during a rolling blackout, since it will only be a short time before electricity returns. But if it takes a very long time for power to come back, like in the case of a black out, you may lose lots of perishables – and the money you spent buying them.

Protect your computer by using an uninterruptible power supply. These last for a short period of time after a power outage occurs. That way, you can save your work and make sure not to lose any of your files.

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