Our line crews work hard all year to keep the electric system strong and the lights on. But power outages in Clark County do happen. Fortunately, they usually don’t last more than a few hours, but it’s important to be ready for a longer stretch without power, just in case.
Conserve cell phone power when the lights are out
Phones are one of the most important items to keep charged during a power outage, because they can do a lot of different things. Smart phones can provide communication with calls and texts, but can also receive emergency alerts, connect to online learning, find help if needed and so much more. To conserve your cell phone’s battery:
- Turn off WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS
- Reduce the brightness of the screen
- Use “low power” or “battery saver” mode
- Send text messages instead of calling
- Turn off vibrate
- Close non-essential applications
- Turn sound levels to low
- Keep the phone off when it is not needed
Keep your electronic devices charged during a power outage
Portable power bank: Portable power banks can be purchased at many local stores and online retailers. The higher the milli Ampere hour (mAh), the higher the capacity. Most iPhones have a mAh (battery capacity) of about 1500-3000, so a power bank with at least 5000-10000 mAh would work well for emergencies.
Car battery/inverter: Newer cars often have a USB charging port inside. Some of these ports do not require the engine to be running when charging devices, while other vehicles need a car adapter for the cigarette lighter. Depending on the age and quality of the car battery, it should be able to charge devices multiple times.
- Be careful not to drain the car battery.
- Do not turn the engine on and idle in the garage or other enclosed spaces – even if the garage door is open – to avoid carbon monoxide hazards.
- Do not leave the vehicle unattended or devices in view.
Hand crank radio: Not only will a hand crank radio bring you information and alerts about an emergency, but some also provide a USB port to charge devices. Hand crank radios can also have multiple options for power (crank, battery, and solar) and come with a flashlight for added safety.
Flashlights: Even flashlights are being manufactured with USB ports to aid in charging devices. It still helps to keep batteries handy since this method tends to gobble up the electrons quickly.
Battery-operated charger: Like flashlight chargers, battery-operated chargers require a supply of batteries. Consider using rechargeable batteries when you can!
Solar charger/generator: Many of the outages in Clark County happen due to weather like wind, heavy rain or ice. If the outage lasts into the daylight, a solar charger may be an option for small devices. Solar chargers and generators can take a while to charge devices and often are not large enough for items requiring a lot of power.
Stay informed about power outages in your area:
Storms and power outages impact areas of Clark County differently. For example, one school might experience a power outage while another is fully up and running. To see up-to-date electrical outages in the area and estimates of how many customers are affected, visit the Clark Public Utilities outage map.
During any emergency, it is best if an adult in your life knows your school district’s plans. They can even sign up for emails and text alerts, and most districts also publish updates to their social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Where to find Clark County school district updates:
Evergreen School District: Communicates through emails, phone calls, text messages, Facebook, and the FlashAlert system
Vancouver School District: Communicates through emails, phone calls, text messages, the mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, and the FlashAlert system
Camas School District: Communicates through emails, phone call, text messages, Facebook, and the FlashAlert system
Ridgefield School District: Communicates through its broadcast phone or text message system and the FlashAlert system
Battle Ground School District: Communicates through emails, phone calls, and the Flash Alert system.