The guidance below is designed to keep you safe in the event of a power outage either on or off campus. Such outages can be caused by severe weather, trees coming in contact with power lines, motor vehicle accidents, equipment failure and more. Faulty wiring and equipment inside your building also can cause localized power outages.
Power outages on campus
During a power outage, U-M facilities (excluding University Housing residence halls and apartments and Michigan Medicine in-patient facilities) cannot remain occupied for more than one hour. After one hour, the building must be evacuated. Please note that emergency lighting is only designed for egress routes and stairways.
For information about whether your classes are canceled, please contact the relevant school or college.
Faculty and staff
Report the outage to U-M Facilities & Operations Services at (734) 647-2059. Then follow evacuation procedures. If you are a member of a Building Incident Response Team, assist in evacuating other building occupants.
Power outage off campus
- Make an “emergency preparedness kit” that includes items like first aid supplies, batteries, a flashlight, snacks and bottled water.
- If anything you rely on (such as a medical device) is power dependent, have a backup plan in place. This may include extra batteries or even a generator.
- Monitor the weather every day. Since many power outages result from severe weather, knowing the forecast makes it easier to plan in advance.
- Know where the closest cooling and warming stations are located. These can keep you safe in the event of a power outage during the summer or winter months.
- If you suspect a power outage may occur:
- Make or buy enough ice to keep your food cool until power is restored.
- Charge your phone and other battery-operated devices.
- Fill your vehicle with gas.
- Stock up on non-perishable food and drinking water.
- Don’t call 911 to report a power outage unless there is an emergency.
- Contact your electrical company to determine the scope and probable duration of the outage.
- Use flashlights for emergency lighting rather than candles, lighters or other open flames that could start a fire.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed. This will help your perishable food last longer.
- Unplug all appliances and other electronics in case of a power surge.
- If you have an electrical generator, do not operate it indoors or in your garage. Doing so puts you at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If there are downed power lines in your area, do not approach or touch them; immediately contact your electrical company.
- If it is dangerously cold or hot, take shelter at a local warming or cooling station.
- If you have to drive, be careful; traffic lights may not be operating and there may be downed trees and utility lines.
- If any power lines remain down in your area, do not approach or touch them.
- Throw away food that has been exposed to temperatures of 40° F (4° C) for two hours or more, as it could make you sick.
- Replace any used items in your emergency preparedness kit.