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What to do During an Outage

Outages can be caused by tree limbs touching power lines, animals causing contact between wires, traffic accidents involving utility poles, wind and lightning storms, equipment failures and even underground cables being cut during construction projects.

When the lights go out, IPL has two objectives: get the power back on as soon as possible and keep everyone safe. When severe weather threatens, we begin our emergency action plan, which includes scheduling more line-repair crews and office support staff. We work 24 hours a day until the power is restored.

Emergency “Lights Out Day or Night” number . . . . 317.261.8111

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Here are some tips for keeping you safe and steps to restore power as soon as possible.

  1. First, prepare for outages before they happen by having a flashlight, a portable radio and extra batteries on hand. And, plan ahead with your storm squad: people who can help you out if  there's an extended outage.
  2. Carefully check the circuit breakers or fuses in your home. If this step fails to restore power, check to see if your neighbors have electricity.
  3. To report the outage, use our online reporting system or call IPL’s Emergency “Lights Out Day or Night” number at 317.261.8111. During a widespread power outage, please continue to call until you reach the voice response system and answer the questions fully. Be sure to inform IPL if you have electrically powered medical equipment and have a back-up plan in place in the event of an extended power outage.


  • Keep everyone away from downed power lines, including pets. Even if wires look harmless, they may be energized and potentially deadly. Never touch anything that is in contact with the wires, such as tree limbs or other objects.
  • Check to see if elderly family members or neighbors need help. If there is a health problem or concern, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Make sure your electric stove is off. If a burner is on and goes unnoticed after the power is restored, it could cause a fire.
  • To conserve heat during an outage in cold weather, limit the number of times outside doors are opened.
  • Do NOT connect a portable generator to your home's wiring system without disconnecting your home from the utility service first. Electricity feeding back into IPL lines from portable generators can damage the home's electrical appliances, cause a fire, or cause injury or death to IPL linemen. Portable generators are designed to provide limited electricity. More information on portable generators.
  • Preserving food -- Keep the refrigerator closed. Refrigerated food should be safe for about four hours, but milk, dairy products, eggs, meats and all cooked foods spoil quickly. Throw them out if the temperature rises above 40 degrees for two hours or more.
    • Keep your freezer closed! A full, freestanding freezer will stay at freezing temperatures about two days without power, a half-full freezer about one day. If the freezer is not full, quickly move packages together to insulate them and keep them as cold as possible. You can safely refreeze food if it still contains ice crystals, has not exceeded 40 degrees for two hours or more, or if it has been held at 40 degrees no more than two days.
    • Don't taste food with an odd odor or color. Also, if it isn't safe for you, it's not safe for your pet.
    • For longer outages, dry ice can be used for food preservation. Place food in the bottom of a Styrofoam cooler in a well-ventilated area. Necessary information on using dry ice safely.