Renter Readiness Tips for Summer Power Outages

(San Antonio, TX) July 21, 2022 – This summer’s extreme temperatures come with the possibility of rolling blackouts and power outages. San Antonio Housing Trust and San Antonio Apartment Association want to make sure Central Texas residents know what to do if the power goes out.

Prepare before a power outage:

  • Let there be Light: Have flashlights with fresh batteries in a handy place where you can find them in the dark.
  • Stay Cool: Consider purchasing a battery-operated fan. Electric fans won’t work without power.
  • Stay Connected: If you rely on your cell phone for communication, keep a charged power bank on hand so you can recharge your phone when the battery gets low.
  • Know your medical needs: Have a backup plan for medical devices that rely on electricity and needed medicines that must stay refrigerated
  • Focus on food access and food safety: Ensure you have nonperishable foods such as canned tuna, peanut butter, and crackers and plenty of bottled water on hand. 
  • Locate your circuit breaker or fuse box: If the power goes out, you will need to quickly determine if the problem is only at your home or if the whole area is affected.
  • Learn how to manually open the gate to your community. If your apartment community has a gate, make sure you know how to manually open it or ask the management office to take care of opening it if power is disrupted.

If the power goes out:

  • Check the circuit breaker or fuse box. If you live in an apartment, first make sure the power outage isn’t just isolated to your home. Grab your flashlight to see everything clearly when you open the circuit breaker door.
    • When you open the box, you’ll want to make sure all the breakers are in the “on” position. You will notice if a breaker has tripped because it won’t be firmly in the “on” position. If a breaker is in the “off” position or looks like it’s sitting in the middle, you can easily fix it by flipping it back to “on.” However, if the breaker toggle is in the middle, switch it all the way off before turning it back to the “on” position. If the breaker continues to “trip” then leave in the off position and contact management to report a maintenance request.
  • Report the problem. If you determine the issue isn’t isolated to your circuit breaker box alone, report the problem to your property manager and utility provider as soon as possible. Report your outage online at the CPS Energy Outage Center ( or by calling (210) 353-HELP (4357).
  • Stay informed with CPS Energy’s outage map and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for power updates.
  • Unplug all electronic equipment. Unplug all electronic devices as soon as you know the power is out. Also, turn your A/C thermostat in the off position if possible. When the power comes back on, you will have decreased the possibility of a power surge that could cause damage to your devices. Just keep one lamp plugged in so you know when the power comes back on.
  • Keep a clean supply of water. If prolonged periods of a power outage affect area water sanitation systems, there’s a chance drinking water can get contaminated. As soon as you lose power, fill up your tubs and sinks so you have a healthy supply of clean water.
  • Don’t open the refrigerator or freezer. Because fridges and freezers are insulated, food can stay good for a couple of hours. Freezers that are half full should stay frozen for 24 hours, and full freezers should stay frozen for 48 hours. Refrigerators will warm up quickest so monitor temperatures with a thermometer before you eat any food. Do not eat food with a temperature above 40 degrees, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out! If the power is out for more than a day, discard any refrigerated medication, unless the drug’s label says otherwise. Consult your doctor or pharmacist immediately for a new supply.
  • Don’t use candles for light. Flashlights are always a safer option.
  • Don’t waste hot water. Until the power returns, you may have limited amounts of hot water, so use it sparingly.
  • Avoid the stove. Using a gas stove or oven will add more heat to your kitchen and living areas, so best to ride out the outage with sandwiches, salads and other cool meals.
  • Drink plenty of water and protect yourself from the sun. The first symptoms of heat exhaustion may be confusion or disorientation. Take a break, drink lots of water and wear high SPF sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and long sleeves to protect your skin and eyes from harsh rays.
  • Check on your family, friends, and neighbors. Adults over 65, children under 4, and people with existing medical conditions such as heart disease and those without access to air conditioning are at highest risk on days with high temperatures. Call and check on family, friends, and neighbors who may be at high risk and ensure access to heat relief and hydration.
  • Locate the nearest cooling center. San Antonio has more than 30 cooling centers to help you beat the heat. Residents can call 3-1-1 to find a location near them or visit this linkTrip Planning, VIA’s personal trip planner, can help find a bus route to the nearest cooling station. VIA is offering free trips to those headed to a cooling center. For more information on using VIA to get to a cooling center, visit this link. Cooling centers will observe COVID-19 precautions, including face coverings, screening, sanitation, and social distancing guidelines.

About San Antonio Housing Trust
San Antonio Housing Trust (SAHT) is a fund established with a $10 million corpus by the City of San Antonio governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the San Antonio City Council.  SAHT also manages a 501(C)(3) Foundation, a Public Facility Corporation, and a Finance Corporation.   Together, on behalf of the City of San Antonio, SAHT works to create and preserve housing that is affordable, accessible, attainable, and/or sustainable. We provide education, resources, and strategic partnerships with affordable-housing-related charities, social enterprises, and builders. This creates a community that builds and sustains neighborhoods, empowers residents, and provides positive equitable outcomes.

About San Antonio Apartment Association
The San Antonio Apartment Association (SAAA) is a non-profit trade association composed of diverse groups representing and serving the multi-family and rental housing industry whose purpose is to promote professionalism through education, provide a means of communication to our members, and participate in the legislative process and support the surrounding communities.

The Association comprises more than 1,500 Property Owners, Management Companies, and Multi-family Communities representing more than 211,000 rental units. Our membership includes more than 360 supplier companies providing products and services to the local rental housing industry.


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