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Power Failures

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.