In the final article in Elexicon Energy’s three-part series “What to do in case of a power outage”, we tackle the actions to take after an outage when the power comes back on.
After a power interruption you may be tempted to get back to all the activities you were doing prior to the lights going out, but the electricity distribution system needs time to stabilize. To prevent a power surge and avoid potential damage to your equipment don’t turn on everything right away. Slowly turn on and reconnect appliances, one by one, over 15 or 20 minutes.
After a storm, check your basement for water, especially if you live in an area prone to flooding. If there is water, avoid the area unless you are certain the power has been disconnected.
Before plugging in appliances, check all electrical outlets and your circuit breaker panel for exposure to water. If any equipment or outlets appear to be wet, do not use them until they have been inspected, repaired, and authorized for continued use by a licensed electrical contractor, or serviced by the manufacturer.
Before turning on your hot water heater, check that it is full. This will avoid damage to the heating elements that could occur if there is not enough water.
Many foods are not safe to eat after a few hours at or above room temperature. After a power outage, go through your fridge and freezer to check for signs of spoilage. If frozen food has defrosted it may need to be cooked right away or discarded.
After an outage, especially following a storm, there may be damaged or downed trees around your property or neighbourhood. If a tree has fallen on your land, contact a licensed arborist to dispose of it. For fallen trees on municipal land, contact your local municipality.
Finally, if you accessed your emergency kit during the power outage, be sure to replenish any supplies used.