Power outages and cold weather dont mix

BOISE, Idaho - Nearly 15,000 people in Eastern Idaho woke up with no power. For some areas, the power didn't return until almost five hours later.

With temperatures below freezing, losing power can be miserable. Idaho Power says they have no wide spread outages right now. There have been some isolated outages, mostly caused by vehicles hitting power poles. Most of those outages last a few minutes to an hour. But when it's this cold, idaho power says longer outages may mean finding other help.

"In the event of something longer term, a day or two, in the extreme temperatures that we are seeing, we would encourage people and I would assume that communities would set up shelters, warm places for people to go, maybe through red cross or churches," said Lynnette Berriochia, Idaho Power spokesperson.

It's important to plan ahead and get an emergency kit ready ahead of time.

"Even a couple hours can make a big difference to stay comfortable until the power is restored, I think is really important," said Berriochia.

If your power goes off, unplug electronics, appliances and everything except a few lights. That way when the power turns back on there wont be a power surge.

Be sure to keep your cell phone charged. It will come in handy when the lights go out and you need information. Idaho power posts updates about outages on Facebook and Twitter.

Idaho power also warns, never use a barbeque or other unapproved items to heat your home. every year there are fires and deaths because of it.