Power Outages

Additional Resources

Power outages can occur due to a number of factors, but they are mainly caused by extreme weather such as storms. Ensure that you have the materials at home to stay comfortable during a prolonged outage.


  • Develop a household emergency plan and assign specific safety tasks to family members. Practice your household emergency plan every six months.
  • Put together an emergency kit to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours, but aim for one week. Keep a kit in your vehicle, and at school or work.
  • Plan a family meeting spot and have an contact, such as a family member in another region, to check in with if you become separated.
  • Get training in emergency preparedness and first aid.
  • Keep your vehicle in working order and always have at least half a tank of gas.
  • Pay attention to notices of danger and information updates on radio, TV and the internet.
  • Keep a backup generator in the house, as well as alternative light sources like battery-powered or man-powered flashlights.


  • Report power outages to BC Hydro at 1-888-POWERON
  • Turn off selected breakers and electronics, as a surge in power can damage them when electricity is turned back on. Leave some breakers on so you know when the power has returned.
  •  Stay warm, and close off all rooms not in use.
  • Do not attempt to use gas heating or babeques indoors, as this can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Do not eat food that you suspect has gone bad in the refrigerator. This applies especially to meat and dairy.
  • Check on those around you, especially the elderly and those with disabilities or small children.
  • Stay away from downed poles and power lines.


  • Wait a few minutes before turning breakers back on so the electrical system can stabilize.
  • Reset clocks, timers and alarms.
  • Check your refrigerator for food that has gone bad. Throw away any food with a temperature over 40 degrees Fahrenheit
  • One Step at a Time: A Guide to Disaster Recovery