Prepare Ahead for Power Outages
Thunderstorms, high winds and snowstorms can create power outage situations that may last longer than a few minutes. They could be widespread and even last for days.
If you are making an outside assessment following a storm, be cautious and stay clear of downed power lines.
Before a Power Outage occurs
You should always be prepared ahead of time for the possibility that you will be without power for a longer period. Before a power outage, remember you should have:
- Battery powered smoke alarms with fresh batteries. People often heat their home with wood or other power supply means, which could increase the risk of fire, and permanently wired smoke alarms do not work in a power outage.
- UPS to power or recharge communication devices (computer, cell phones, wireless phones) or at least one hard wired phone in the house.
- In the winter, always keep a full tank of gas in the automobile. This will allow you to drive somewhere that has power when the roads are safe to travel. It will also reduce the risk of gas lines freezing in winter.
- Businesses should consult with an electrician or computer expert to determine the best strategy to deal with critical equipment and data.
- If a back up generator is in your plans, it should have an ESA inspected transfer capability and fuel on hand to last through a longer outage. Store fuel responsibly and know what devices your generator can supply.
- Knowledge of appropriate generator safety, food safety and electrical restart procedures is important to review. See the links at the bottom of this page.
Build Your Emergency Kit
The Emergency Survival Checklist below outlines the basic items everyone should have stocked in their household and should check annually:
- Flashlight and batteries
- Radio and batteries or crank or solar rechargeable radio
(you could also use a car radio for a short period at a time)
- Spare batteries (for radio and flashlight)
- First-aid kit
- Telephone that can work during a power disruption
(hard wired to the wall ~ not cordless which needs power)
- Low profile, secure-standing candles (not candlesticks) and matches/lighter
- Extra car keys and cash (ATM or electronic payment devices may not work)
- Important papers (identification)
- Non-perishable food (ready-to-eat items that do not require refrigeration)
- Manual can opener
- Bottled water (4 litres per person per day)
In case you are evacuated, be ready with:
- Clothing and footwear
- Blankets or sleeping bag
- Toilet paper and other personal items
- Backpack/duffle bag
- Whistle (to attract attention, if needed)
- Playing cards, reading material or other forms of entertainment that do not require power
Since emergency supply requirements vary for individuals with special needs and different disabilities, please refer to the Emergency Preparedness Guide for People With Disabilities/Special Needs found at Emergency Management Ontario.
Here are some important links to read through and print off so you know how to deal with a power outage when it is happening:
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care- Food Safety
Government of Canada Emergency Preparation- More Details for preparation
This page last updated 2013-03-14.