IF THE ELECTRIC POWER FAILS... NOT TO WORRY...
Con Ed's chief distribution engineer says that while citywide power failures are unlikely, localized cutoffs may occur because of mechanical breakdown.
Will it happen at Coliseum Park Apartments -- who knows? But if it does, there are things you should be aware of, and some things you can do to keep you and your family comfortable and your electronic equipment safe.
What Would Happen if Power Fails?
Lights and all plug-in electric appliances in your apartment will shut down.
In the building, hallway and stairwell lights, elevators, intercom system, basement lighting, washers, driers, and water pumps won't operate. Building entrance doors won't operate automatically, but can be operated manually.
Will My Telephone Work?
Hard-wired, non-wireless phones will work as their power is supplied by the phone company. But answering machines powered by wall sockets will not, and other special functions (number storage, auto redial, etc.) on your phone might be affected if not backed up by battery power.
Cell phones will also work normally.
911 can be reached in an emergency by hard-wired and cell phones.
In an emergency, the Doormen can be called: 58th Street -- 265-6995 & 60th Street -- 265-6999.
How Can I Be Prepared?
Water: Keep a few gallon jugs of water in reserve in the refrigerator for cooking and washing. Coliseum's water supply comes from roof tanks filled by electric pumps. In a power outage only the water already in the tanks will be available and will run out quickly under normal use.
Computers, etc. Provide sensitive electronic equipment such as computers with surge protectors. When power is restored, it can come in a surge, or spike, that might damage sensitive equipment. If your computer is particularly essential to your work, you might consider purchase of backup battery power.
Flashlights/Portable Radio/Batteries. Have a supply of the appropriate battery sizes for flashlights, portable radios, and other important battery-operated equipment such as your special-featured telephone. Batteries keep longest in the refrigerator.
Candles. Have a supply of candles and use only in places away from drafts, flammable materials such as curtains, papers, etc., and where they are in no danger of being knocked over.
Elderly/Disabled/Neighbors. Contact neighbors you're concerned about and offer to check on them in the event of a power outage.
Life-Sustaining Equipment. If you or a member of your family use life-sustaining equipment, please contact Con Edison at the phone number on your bill 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). According to their website (www.conedison.com) they want to know if you'll need special attention in case of an emergency and will work with you to keep your service on.
What if Con Ed Warns of Potential Brownouts/Blackouts?
Check your flashlights to be sure they are in working order.
Check your candle supply. (See note above.)
Have a supply of backup batteries for all battery-powered appliances handy.
Cut back on use of air conditioners, clothes and dish washing machines, dryers, especially during hours of peak demand -- 7 to 10pm in residential areas. (Appliances that create cold or heat use the most electricity.)
And If an Outage Occurs?
Turn on a portable radio for news updates.
Access to the building will be through the lobby only. Stay out of the basement. It will be dark, and while the doors from the street into the basement can be opened with a key, the inner electrically operated gates will remain locked.
Avoid using building-supplied water. There is only a few hours supply of water in roof tanks and electric pumps to refill them will be inoperative.
Turn off or disconnect appliances that would go on automatically when service is restored, leaving one light on so you'll know when power is restored. A surge can result when power is restored and may damage equipment that has been left on and does not have a surge protector. Appliances not turned off may trip circuit breakers or fuses in an apartment when power returns.
Use only candles in holders and keep away from drafts, flammable materials such as curtains, and in low traffic places where they are in no danger of being knocked over.
The Staff have been supplied with a portable radio to keep abreast of the situation, and with large flashlights to provide assistance in an emergency. They have walkie-talkies and will be available in the lobbies.
What If I'm Caught in Our Elevator?
Not to worry. In a power outage building employees are instructed to check the elevators to be sure no one is inside. If you are, you will be found and you will be released.
If you have your cell phone with you, try reaching the Doormen: 58th Street -- 265-6995 and 60th Street -- 265-6999.
How Do I Keep Food in My Refrigerator & Freezer Safe?
Food will stay frozen between 36 and 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer with the door closed. Keep doors closed as much as possible. Each time the door is opened, heat enters.
What Do I Do Until the Power Returns?
Well, some who experienced the previous two major NYC blackouts in 1965 and 1977 turned the event into a get-to-know-your-neighbor party, sharing candlelight and wine (unchilled). In both instances the power returned and the birthrate went up. So, just keep calm and as cool as you can.