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Utility Failure

Procedures and Guidelines 

Utility failures can be caused by a wide variety of events. If you are involved in an emergency that triggers the utility failure, go to the emergency plans page to find the emergency you are dealing with for more specific guidelines.

Power Outage Procedures 

  • Remain calm.
  • If it is an emergency, call LU Emergency Communications at (434) 592-3911 or 911.
  • Stay where you are unless there is an imminent threat to your safety (e.g., a fire). Since most power outages are relatively brief, it may be best to remain in place rather than attempt to evacuate the building.
  • In many buildings, only the alarm systems and emergency lighting are connected to a backup generator. These systems may experience a brief interruption (up to 30 seconds) as power is switched to an emergency generator or when power to the building is restored.
  • If you are in an unlit area, proceed with caution to an area that has emergency lighting. The backlighting or flashlight app on your cell phone may help you navigate.
  • Elevators will not function during a power outage. If you are trapped in an elevator, stay calm. Press the emergency call button inside the elevator or call LU Emergency Communications at (434) 592-3911 or 911. When speaking with the dispatcher, identify the building, elevator number and location in the building, and floor where the car stopped.
  • Protect electrical equipment and appliances.
    • To avoid damage from any surge when the power is restored, turn off and unplug non-essential electrical devices, especially voltage-sensitive equipment like computers.
    • Keep the doors to refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible to help them stay cold.
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