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Visitor's Guide to Winter Power Outages

January 4, 2023
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Skiers and riders love Truckee-Tahoe’s winter storms for the deep pow they deliver to ski areas. Along with the fun, it’s important to be prepared for power outages which could occur when winter storms bring damaging winds, mountain snow, heavy rain and/or flooding. Download or print this guide to be prepared for winter power outages, and remember to check our Truckee-Tahoe Travel Alert for daily updates.


Questions to ask your lodging provider

  • What supplies will be provided in the event of a power outage? Ask about flashlights, batteries, nonperishable food, bottled water, and other emergency items.
  • How will you be notified of a power outage? Sign up for emergency alerts (below) and ask how your lodging provider will notify you of emergency events.
  • Will the garage door work if the power is out?
  • Are there instructions for the secondary heat source?
  • Is a backup generator available? If you are staying in a mountain home, a generator may be provided for backup power. Always operate according to instructions and read this generator safety checklist.

What to pack before your trip

  • Backup battery charger
  • Spare charging cords
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Physical map of Truckee
  • Small first aid kit
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries

What to do if you are alerted of an outage

  • Practice manually opening electronic entries such as key card locks, garage doors, gates, and pin pads.
  • Get gas or charge your electric vehicle.
  • Have extra layers and blankets on hand.
  • Charge your phone and backup battery charger.
  • Stock up on nonperishable food items. Keep a manual can opener handy.
  • Get bottled drinking water. It’s recommended to have 1 gallon per person per day.
  • Fill coolers with ice.
  • Locate flashlights and spare batteries.
  • Make a plan for your pets and their needs.
  • Make a plan for medical devices that require power.
  • If you are staying in a mountain home, call your property manager or host if you have questions.

Sign up for power outage alerts and emergency notifications

Here’s how to find out if an outage is happening:

  1. If you are not a TDPUD customer but want TEXT ALERTS for TDPUD outages, text TDPUD to 333111 to sign up for Nixle. Nixle text alerts will be used in the event of large-scale outages. For all other outages, non-customers can view TDPUD’s outage map at
  2. If you own a home in Truckee, update your TDPUD contact information to get email and text alerts. Liberty Utilities customers should call 1-800-782-2506 to update their contact information and get alerts.
  3. Check the Truckee-Tahoe Travel Alert.
  4. Emergencies may occur during an outage. Sign up for Code Red for email and text alerts from Truckee Police, Truckee Fire Protection District, and Nevada County. Learn more.


What to expect

When the power goes out, it may not be possible to get gas or other commodities; cell phones may lag as towers experience high congestion; and restaurants, grocery stores, retail shops, and other businesses may be closed.

Tips for when the power is out

  1. Stay hydrated!
  2. Limit phone use to conserve battery for alerts and keep communication lines open for emergencies.
  3. Stay connected with a neighbor and your lodging host.
  4. Avoid driving unless necessary. Streetlights may be out.
  5. Avoid flooded roads, and never try to drive across a flooded road.
  6. Keep your fridge, freezer, and coolers closed as much as possible.
  7. Eat perishable foods first.
  8. Unplug appliances and electrical devices to avoid a surge when the power comes back on.
  9. Use generators and camp stoves outside, 20 ft from windows, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. View generator safety checklist.
  10. Be patient, kind, and remember we're in this together!

Medical or emergency care during a power outage

Tahoe Forest Hospital, located at 10121 Pine Ave in Truckee, will operate on backup power. The hospital will be able to provide medical and emergency care, although some elective services and procedures may not be available. If you are experiencing an urgent or life-threatening emergency, go to the nearest Emergency Department or Urgent Care clinic immediately.

Where to get information

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Who to follow on social media



Additional Resources

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