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In a power outage, Northwest residents aren't left in the dark

Wednesday, December 12, 2018by  PEMCO Insurance

​While many seasoned Northwest residents likely have at least few necessary supplies stashed away in case of an emergency, a new poll from PEMCO Insurance reveals that people here also are prepared for a more 21st century dilemma: charging their phone in a power outage.

The latest PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll found that 83 percent of Washington and Oregon residents believe they're at least somewhat prepared for a power outage. And among those who own and regularly use a smartphone, almost three-quarters (71 percent) say they readily have an alternative means of charging their device if the power goes out.

"Nowadays, many people consider their smartphones a vital part of everyday life – it's our phonebook, GPS, and even a go-to flashlight," said PEMCO Spokesperson Derek Wing. "But when the power goes out, you could quickly lose access to many of the features you've come to rely on."

Even if their phone eventually runs out of battery, Northwest residents say they won't be left in the dark. According to the poll, most respondents (95 percent) say they have at least one usable flashlight in their home other than their phone's flashlight, and 71 percent say they've recently tested their torches to make sure they work properly. 

Residents here also are confident they'll be able to call their loved ones from another phone if their smartphone runs out of juice. Washingtonians say they can recall an average of 13 important phone numbers, while residents in Oregon believe they can remember about 11 phone numbers, should they need to get ahold of someone without their phone's directory. 

In case of a more serious emergency, beyond a temporary power outage, safety officials also recommend building an emergency supply kit with the following items:

  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Extra food and water for your pet
  • A battery-powered or hand crank radio
  • A first aid kit and non-prescription medications
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records

"When putting together emergency preparedness kits, necessities like food, water and first aid kits often come to mind. But beyond those key items, it's good to see that residents in this tech-centric region take more digital precautions into consideration, too, and make sure to have backup charging sources available," Wing said.

For a complete summary of PEMCO's poll results, visit, where you'll find the responses collected by FBK Research of Seattle in June 2018.


About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll

PEMCO Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 600 respondents in Washington and 600 in Oregon, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range.


About PEMCO Insurance

PEMCO Insurance is a true Northwest company providing auto, home, and boat insurance to our neighbors since 1949. Consistently ranked highest in customer satisfaction, people are the heart of our business. They can depend on us to anticipate and support their changing needs. PEMCO is committed to serving organizations that positively impact our local communities. We were started by a Seattle schoolteacher and stay true to our roots by focusing on nonprofits and organizations that support youth, education, and public safety. To learn more, visit

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