Preparing for a Storm

 Emergency Kit for Cold-weather Power Outages:Can Opener

  • Non-perishable food
  • Manual can opener
  • Bottled water. Date the water and replace it every six months; don't store it in sunlight.
  • Lanterns
  • Flashlights
  • Fresh batteries
  • Battery-operated radio or charged smartphone
  • Canned fuel and matches for heating food in a chafing dish or fondue pot
  • First aid
  • Enough pet food, baby-care items, and prescription drugs, if applicable
  • Plenty of firewood for a wood-burning stove or fireplace. Cover it with a tarp to keep it dry, or put some in a carport or garage.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Plenty of cash. ATM machines don't work without electricity.
  • Snow shovels
  • Ice-melting crystals for home entrances
  • Ice coolers for keeping refrigerated foods cold with ice or dry ice

 Storm Preparation Tips from NOVEC:

  • Before a storm disrupts power service, customers should make sure that NOVEC has their current phone numbers. The correct number or numbers will expedite outage reporting and power restoration. Call Customer Service at 703-335-0500 to associate up to two phone numbers with your account. Follow the prompts.
  • Designate the safest shelter location. Be prepared to leave a mobile home for better protection. Develop a plan for someone disabled.
  • Have an emergency kit with non-perishable food, water, flashlights, fresh batteries, battery-operated radio, lanterns, canned fuel, matches, and first aid. If applicable, have enough prescription drugs, pet food, and baby-care items. (See complete list below.)
  • Cordless phones do not work when power is out;therefore, keep cell phones charged.
  • Before a thunderstorm hits, unplug TVs, DVD/ VCR players, microwave oven, and computers to protect them from power surges and lightning strikes. Lightning can accompany snow storms.
  • Have a chimney sweep clean a wood-burning fireplace before storm season arrives because it may be used a lot if there's a power outage.
  • NOVEC's right-of-way crews work year round to trim tree branches that might fall on power lines.If a Co-op customer sees a tree or tree branches that look like they could fall on power lines, customers should contact NOVEC's right-of-way department at 703-392-1661 or call Customer Service.
  • Post emergency phone numbers near the phone. Teach children how to call 911. Explain the circumstances that would require an emergency call.
  • Pick one out-of-state relative or friend for family members to call if they become separated during a storm. It is often easier to call out-of-state than within an area that's experiencing a storm. Post the contact person's name and phone number near the phone. 

What to do if Power Goes Out

  • Call NOVEC at 703-335-0500, or report the outage online at if you have access. Sign up for text messaging with NOVEC. The Outage Center will provide updates.
  • Only open freezers and refrigerators when necessary. Learn more
  • Only use portable generators, camp stoves, or grills outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Alternatively, heat food in a chafing dish or fondue pot over canned fuel.


If people see a downed power line and pole, they should STAY AWAY! Snow and water on the ground -- even damp pavement -- and debris near power lines could be energized and deadly. Notify NOVEC and the police immediately! Learn more.

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