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