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Mercury Insurance Advises Californians How to Protect Against Risks Caused by Rolling Blackouts across the State

Mercury helps consumers avoid being left ‘in the dark’
If the prospect of going more than an hour without power gives you a panic attack just to think about, consider purchasing a backup generator to keep your home operating with minimal disruption.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (October 24, 2019) – High wind advisories, dry, hot weather and increased fire danger have led major California utility companies to preemptively cut off power to millions of customers over the last several weeks to help reduce the risk of powerline-ignited wildfires. These power outages will continue to be a concern through the current fire season, so Mercury Insurance is advising homeowners, condo owners and renters how to stay safe and protect their property from power surges.

“It’s an inconvenience to be without power for an unpredictable amount of time, but we certainly understand why utility companies feel the need to take this precaution,” said Christopher O’Rourke, Mercury Insurance vice president of property claims. “With the proper preparation, you should make it through an outage unscathed.”

O’Rourke recommends Californians prepare themselves, their homes and their belongings for the following scenarios.

  • Power surges. Electrical spikes can be caused by a scheduled blackout when the utility company turns the power off and then back on. These events can send a surge of electricity to your home's electronics and appliances, potentially "frying" them in the process. Consider plugging your devices into surge protectors rather than directly into a wall outlet. When the power goes out, unplug devices or use the circuit breaker to turn them off to protect them.
  • Garage door opener failure. Park in your driveway or on the street if you anticipate a power outage so your vehicle is still accessible.
  • Pitch blackness. If your power outage continues after the sun goes down, keep a supply of easily accessible lights – like flashlights, lanterns and headlamps – and, of course, extra batteries handy to light your pathways throughout your home.
  • Portable cell phone battery chargers. Make sure your portable cell phone battery packs are fully charged so you can recharge cell phones and other USB-enabled devices during the blackout. If you don’t have a battery pack, it’s a good idea to purchase one before the blackout hits so you can stay connected.
  • Food spoilage. Limit opening your refrigerator and freezer to retain cool temperatures for as long as possible. Stock up on ice and coolers as a backup plan to keep food cold.

“If the prospect of going more than an hour without power gives you a panic attack just to think about, consider purchasing a backup generator to keep your home operating with minimal disruption,” said O’Rourke.

Mercury also offers its customers Home Systems Protection, coverage they can add to their homeowners, condo owners or renters insurance policy to help pay for unexpected repair and replacement costs for kitchen and laundry appliances, heating and cooling systems, home entertainment equipment, home security systems, smart home systems and more due to electrical or mechanical breakdown.

Visit to learn more about Mercury’s homeowners, condo owners and renters insurance, as well as other products and services.

About Mercury Insurance

Mercury Insurance (MCY) is a multiple-line insurance organization predominantly offering personal automobile, homeowners and commercial insurance through a network of independent agents in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. Since 1962, Mercury has specialized in offering quality insurance at affordable prices. For more information visit or Facebook and follow the company on Twitter.


For further information: PCG - Wendi Sheridan (424) 903-3644 (

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