Power outages can happen quickly and at any time.
You may hear warnings of incoming inclement weather from media outlets or weather services. You could receive a notice from Elexicon Energy of a planned outage due to repair or maintenance work in your neighbourhood. In some cases, work on a construction site or a traffic accident involving damage to a pole or other infrastructure can suddenly shut down power.
In all these cases, it helps to be prepared before the power goes out. Part 1 of this three-part series offers tips on what to do BEFORE a power outage to keep you, your family and home safe.
Depending on the severity of the damage causing an outage, you may be without power for an extended period. Your family’s emergency survival kit should contain items that can keep you comfortable for at least three days. Emergency Management Ontario provides a list of some things to include:
There have been several major power outages in Ontario such as the 2013 ice storm and more recently, the severe storms on May 21 that kept power off for days. This has led to a surge in sales of emergency generators.
If you purchase such equipment, be aware of the risks. Some generators can produce carbon monoxide, an odourless gas that can cause poisoning, and if not used correctly can lead to severe illness or death. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, keep the generator as far as possible from your home, and point the exhaust away from the building.
The same suggestions apply to non-electric heaters and stoves – read and follow all instructions to ensure safe operation.
High winds and storms can bring down trees and branches on power lines, causing outages. Regularly check the trees on your property or nearby municipal land, especially mature ones, for those that may be at risk. You can call Elexicon Energy or your local municipality to bring out arborists to investigate – before the trees can cause a power outage.