In The Event of a Power Outage

Family sitting by the candles during the blackout.

The loss of power in your home can be a scary and stressful situation for anyone. If you’re experiencing power lost due to torrential downpours, windstorms, ice storms or rolling blackouts – then the Good Hands Advice team recommends checking out our articles for tips on what to do in the event of these events. If this is a surprise outage, and you need tips, we’re happy to share them below.

During a power outage

  • Rely on battery-powered lights such as flashlights. Exercise caution if you must use candles and never leave them unattended. Battery-operated LED candles are a safer choice.
  • Unplug major appliances to avoid a power surge once power returns.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by using generators, barbecues and other fuel-burning equipment outdoors only.
  • Ensure proper handling of food:
    • Keep your fridge and freezer closed in order to maintain the cold temperature.
    • A full freezer will keep food frozen for about 48 hours and a freezer that is half full will keep food frozen for about 24 hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours.
    • Don’t place frozen food outside, even in cooler weather. The sun’s rays could thaw the food and animals could contaminate it.
    • If you know the power outage will last a long time, consider taking your food to a friend to store who has power.
    • Check out the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website for more food safety tips.
  • Use a solar or battery-powered charger to charge your cell phone. You can also charge it in your car and get updates on your car radio, but remove your car from the garage and keep it in a well-ventilated place when the engine is running to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Check on neighbours, family, and elders to offer any help.

After a power outage

  • Plug in only the most essential appliances first, and wait 10 to 15 minutes to give the electrical system time to stabilize before re-connecting everything else.
  • Dispose of any thawed food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more. Food that still contains ice crystals or feels refrigerator-cold can be re-frozen. Also, clean and disinfect any areas that raw food has touched.
  • Reset your clocks, automatic timers and alarms.
  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit.

Disclaimer: This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice.