Emergency Preparedness

Be Prepared for Emergencies!

Burbank Water and Power makes every effort to provide all of our customers with constant electric and water service. However, continuous water and electric service cannot be guaranteed. Power outages can be caused by many things, including occurrences out of our control such as extreme and continued heat, a Mylar balloon caught in the power lines, or vehicles hitting our utility poles.

Burbank’s Police and Fire departments have told us that in the event of an extreme emergency impacting the region we all need to be self sufficient for three to seven days. We urge all of our customers to take precautions and plan ahead to ensure their safety, security, and comfort should they experience a loss of power or water. This is especially important for our customers using life support equipment.

If you have a medical emergency please do not hesitate to call 911.

For More Information

There are dozens of online resources for emergency preparedness. We find the Department of Homeland Security’s FEMA site to be one of the best. This site is full of easy-to-follow information and tips that will guide you and your family in becoming prepared for emergencies of all types. Please go to

Emergency Preparedness Information

Here are some tips to guide your preparations in advance of an emergency.

  • Keep at least one working flashlight close by along with extra batteries.
  • You should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. Again, plan on having sufficient unopened, bottled water for at least three days.
  • Stock canned foods, dry mixes, and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water, or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and include any special dietary needs. Remember also to pack food and water for pets.
  • Identify a friend or relative that can provide assistance, if needed.
  • Have a wireless phone on hand, such as a cell phone or landline phone.
  • Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit and manual.
  • Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper).
  • Matches and waterproof container.
  • Whistle.
  • Extra clothing.
  • Photocopies of credit and identification cards.
  • Cash and coins.
  • Special needs items, such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries.
  • Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifier.


What To Do During An Emergency.

Burbank Water and Power strongly encourages the public to be vigilant and cautious to stay safe during times of emergencies.

General safety:

  • Stay away from any downed power lines and poles as well as downed trees and limbs.
  • Beware of traffic signals that may be affected by power outage and proceed with extreme caution.
  • Allow access for uniformed BWP crews, all of whom carry Department-issued identification cards, so they may service infrastructure in need of repair.

In the event of a power outage:

  • Stay calm.
  • Have a flashlight and extra batteries nearby. Don’t use candles in a power outage.
  • Turn off lights but leave one light turned on so you will know when your service is restored.
  • Turn off and unplug appliances and other electrical equipment. Unplug heat-producing items like irons and space heaters. This helps prevent circuit overloading, which could delay restoration of service.
  • Call BWP and report your outage or learn the status of restoration at 1-818-238-3700.

If you encounter a downed power line:

  • Report any downed power lines immediately by calling 911.
  • Do not touch a downed or dangling wire or anyone or anything in contact with it. Always assume a downed line is still energized.
  • If a power line falls on your car, stay in the car and wait for help. If you must get out, make sure you do not touch the metal parts of the car and the ground at the same time. The safest exit method is to open the door, stand on the door sill and jump free without touching the car.
  • Stay away from metal fences, such as chain link fence, as there may be a power line down and touching the fence somewhere beyond your sight.
  • If there is damage to the connection from the power pole to your house, you should go to the electrical box and turn off the main switch or shut off the fuse switch. Again, always assume electric lines are live.
  • In case of an electrical emergency, stay calm and think before you act. Don't become a victim while trying to help others. Call 911.
  • If someone is shocked or not breathing, apply cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR.) Then cover the victim with a blanket, keep their head low and get medical attention.


Tips To Better Manage Heat-Related Situations.

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides the following tips to better manage heat-related situations:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
  • Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
  • Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
  • Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • Keep well hydrated.
  • Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
  • Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.