Power failures can last for a few minutes, several hours or days. Technical difficulties can cause power failures; however, power may be interrupted as a result of a disaster. For tips to protect your home during prolonged winter power outages, go to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation .
Prepare for a power failure
- Prepare a survival kit.
- Keep warm clothing and extra blankets on hand.
- Purchase antifreeze to protect plumbing fixtures from freezing.
- Consider installing an extra heater that does not require electricity.
- Store boiled water if you have an electric water system.
- Protect sensitive electrical appliances with a surge protector or other power protection devices.
- Ensure you have a supply of wood or fuel available if you have a fireplace or electric generator.
Stay safe during a power outage
If you are at home:
- Open your survival kit to use your flashlight and radio. (Avoid lighting candles – they can create a fire hazard.)
- Turn on your radio to find out what’s happening and when power should be restored.
- Turn off any appliances and home entertainment equipment.
- Avoid opening your fridge or freezer. Frozen food will keep for about 2 days in an unopened freezer.
- NEVER use a camp stove, barbeque, or propane/kerosene heater indoors to heat your home as they create carbon monoxide gas – a gas that can kill you and your family.
If you are at work or in a public building:
- Stay calm and follow any instructions given to you.
If you are driving:
- Anticipate traffic delays as traffic lights may not be operational. Treat these intersections as four-way stops.
After a power outage
- Only turn on the most essential appliances first, to allow the electrical system a chance to stabilize.
- After 15 minutes, reconnect other appliances and home entertainment equipment.
- Examine food in your fridge and freezer once they are back on; throw out any food that may have spoiled due to thawing.
- Reset electric clocks, automatic timers, and alarms.
- Restock any items used from your survival kit.