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Power Outage

Campus Safety

In the event of a power outage, many campus facilities are equipped with emergency generators to power critical operations.  Major campus buildings are equipped with an emergency generator and light system that will provide enough light in corridors and stairs for safe exiting. To report a localized power outage, contact 803-648-4011.

Terms to Know

Blackout: Equipment failure which occurs when the supply of power is cut, either by excessive demand on the power grid, lightning storms, ice one power lines, equipment failure or any accident which brings down a power line.

Rolling Blackout: Occurs when electrical power is turned off to selected areas to save power.  Blackouts usually occur during peak energy usage times, between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., but they can happen any time.  Blackouts may effect to same area more than once a day and they may exceed an hour’s duration.

Be Prepared!

  • If you use medication that requires refrigeration, most can kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem --check with your physician or pharmacist.
  • If you have space in your refrigerator or freezer, consider filling plastic containers with water, leaving an inch of space inside each one –this will help keep food cold if the power goes out.
  • Have extra blankets, coats, hats, and gloves on hand to keep warm.
  • If you have a computer, back up files and operating systems regularly.  Turn off all monitors and other devices when they are not being used.
  • If you have a telephone instrument or system that requires electricity to work, plan for alternate communication such as a standard telephone handset, cellular phone, or radio.
  • Keep a flashlight with spare batteries immediately accessible.
  • Know how to locate the closest exit.

During The Outage

  • Turn of major appliances to prevent damage from a possible surge when the power comes back on – keep one light turned on so you know when power returns.
  • Use only flashlights for emergency lighting -- candles pose the risk of fire.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors shut to keep food from spoiling.  When in doubt, throw it out!
  • In cold weather, stay warm by dressing in layers and minimizing time spent outdoors.  Be aware of cold stress symptoms
  • In hot weather, take steps to remain cool. Move to the lowest level of the house.   Wear lightweight, light- colored clothing.  Drink plenty of water.
  • If you are trapped in an elevator, wait for assistance.  Do not attempt to force the doors open. Remain patient – there is plenty of air and the interior of the elevator is designed for passenger safety.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car.  Traffic signals will stop working during an outage, creating traffic congestion and dangerous driving conditions. If you must drive during blackout, remember to obey the 4-way stop rule at intersections with non-functioning traffic signals.

In the event of a large-scale power outage :

  • Remain calm and stay inside unless told otherwise
  • Make sure stoves and ovens are shut off.
  • Follow directions provided by Campus Housing Personnel.
  • Unplug electrical equipment, including computers, and turn off the light switches.  This will prevent electrical spikes which will damage your electronics

If people are trapped in an elevator :

  • If you are unable to communicate with them, let the passengers know help has been summoned.
  • Call 803-648-4011 or use the elevator phone.
  • Provide specific location and number of individuals involved to the dispatcher.
  • Stay near the passengers if safe to do so, until emergency responders are on site and elevator is identified.