Power outages can be caused by a variety of circumstances. Emergency lighting is provided in all university buildings for a brief period of time after power outages to allow for safe evacuation. Because emergency lighting is only available for a brief time, areas with no natural lighting will need to evacuate immediately during an outage. Response Team members for each area have been trained to respond automatically during a power outage and assist all faculty, staff, and students with any necessary evacuation.

Be prepared

  • Keep a flashlight with spare batteries immediately accessible
  • Know how to locate the closest exit

If a power outage occurs

  • Remain calm
  • Assess the extent of the outage in your area
  • Report the outage to Maintenance Customer Service (650) 723-2281
  • Help persons in darkened work areas move to safety
  • Unplug personal computers and non-essential equipment, turn off light switches
  • Open windows for additional light and ventilation
  • Do not light candles or other types of flames for lighting
  • If you are in an elevator that stops working, stay calm. The elevator should return to a predesignated floor and the doors will open automatically. Use the intercom or the emergency button inside the elevator to notify the University Emergency Operator in Facility Operations if you are not able to exit the elevator. Consult the Elevator Malfunction section for further information.
  • If asked to evacuate, secure any hazardous materials if it is safe to do so and proceed directly to the designated Emergency Assembly Point (EAP) for the building you are in and check in. Consult Evacuation Procedures for additional information.
  • Response Team members for each area will move through all spaces helping faculty, staff, and students to safety and ensuring that all areas have been evacuated

Emergency generators

Some buildings in campus are equipped with emergency generators that activate automatically in the event of an outage. If your building has a generator:

  • Become familiar with the location of electrical outlets provided with emergency power
  • Ensure that critical equipment is plugged in to emergency outlets
  • Do not use emergency power outlets for non-critical equipment if it can be avoided

Additional information for labs

  • Keep lab refrigerators/freezers closed during the outage
  • Secure all vital equipment, records, experiments, and hazardous materials if safe to do so
  • Store all chemical in their original or marked containers and fully open all fume hoods. If this is not possible, or natural ventilation is not adequate, evacuate the area until power is restored.

Prolonged outages

  • To obtain more information call the Stanford Emergency Information Hotline (650) 725-5555 or check the Stanford University Emergency Information website (http://emergency.stanford.edu) if you have access
  • Release of personnel after an extended outage is determined by the department executive