Skip ribbon commands
Skip to main content

Prepare for a power outage

Power outages can happen at any time of year: winter or summer. Knowing what to do when the power goes out can make it easier to manage and keep you safe. Below you'll find information on how to prepare for a power outage.  

 

​​If you're currently experienc​​ing a power outage, see​ our power outage map for up-to-date information.​

 

Create an emergency kit

It is important to know what to do in a power outage. Learn what should be in your 72-hour emergency kit and see our power outage checklist.

Prepare for a power outage

 

 

What to do if your power goes out

It is important to know what to do during a power outage and how to stay safe.

During a power outage

 

 

What to do after a power outage

Once the power is back on, there are things you should do. Wait before turning appliances back on as electricity needs to stabilize. Read more tips on what to check.

After a power outage

 

Being prepared for power outages will help you to reduce inconveniences and potential risks. 

How to prepare

Ensuring you and your family stay safe during a power outage only takes a short series of steps. Follow them to stay safe when the power's out.

When the power's out

Knowing what to do after the power's restored is just as important as being prepared before an outage. Here's what to do.

When the lights come back on

What to do before a power outage

 

 

  Make a power outage emergency kit

1. Make a power outage emergency kit

  • Use our outage checklist to help build your emergency kit for a power outage emergency.
  • Your kit should include supplies that will last everyone in your household for 72 hours.
  • Store your power outage emergency kit somewhere that's easy to find. Remember, you might have to find it in the dark.
  • Check your kit yearly to make sure it's well-stocked. Check that everything in it still works and to replace old batteries.
  • Read more from City of Edmonton on how to prepare for emergencies.
  • The Government of Alberta also provides useful resources for building a 72-hour emergency kit.

2. Create a plan for you and your family

  • Think about what you would need if the power went out for several days. How would you stay warm, keep food cold, and stay in touch with other people?
  • Make sure everyone is familiar with the plan. Knowing what to do if your power goes out will make sure you're safe and more comfortable.

3. Prepare a list of emergency phone numbers

  • Include fire, police, ambulance, and our power emergency phone number (780) 412-4500.

4. Sign up for Power Outage Alerts

  • Get alerts by text or email. You'll know that we are aware the power is out in your neighborhood.
  • Our alerts will update you on why the power went out, how long the power is expected to be out, and when it's back on.
  • Register for power outage alerts through My Account.

5. Protect your electronics

  • Use surge protectors for your computers, gaming systems, TVs, etc.
  • Keep a spare cell phone battery or portable charger in your home for your cellphone. Cordless landlines plugged into an electrical outlet will not work during a power outage.

6. Figure out if you need back-up power

  • Ensure you have a back-up battery for medical equipment and make sure back-up equipment is in working order.
  • Have an extra battery for your home security system.
  • If you have equipment that you always need to access, home generators can be useful during a power outage. They can also be extremely dangerous if they are not used properly. Always follow all manufacturers' instructions and call a qualified electrician or electrical inspector if you have questions.
  • Never use portable generators, barbeques, or propane/kerosene heaters indoors. They give off carbon dioxide, which is odourless, invisible and can cause illness or even death.

7. Read your electric garage door manual

  • Locate the emergency release handle and learn how to open and close the door without power.

8. Keep your home safe when you're away

  • Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home if you're going to be away on vacation.
  • Turn off heat-producing devices, including home computers, and unplug personal devices. Unplugging these devices will reduce the risk of overheating and fires when the power comes back on. 

 

​Power Outage Alerts

Know why the power is out and whe​​​n it will be back on. Sign up to get power outage alerts for your Edmonton neighborhood.

Sign up today

 

Create a preparedness plan for you and your family.
Make sure everyone is familiar with it. The plan should include what to do in case the power is out for an extended time.

Prepare a list of emergency phone numbers.
Include fire, police, ambulance and our power trouble phone number so you can report any outages.

Have an emergency kit handy.
Store it in an easy-to-find location that is accessible in the dark. Check regularly to make sure the kit is well stocked and that all equipment is in good working order. The kit should be well-stocked and all equipment should be in good working order (check your kit yearly and be sure to replace old batteries).

Consider back-up power. Do you have equipment in your home that you need to access at all times? If so, you may want to consider what methods of back-up power would work best for you.
Home generators can be useful during a power outage but they can also be very dangerous if they are not used properly. Always follow all manufacturers' instructions and contact a qualified electrician or electrical inspector if you have questions. Never use portable generators, barbeques, or propane/kerosene heaters indoors.

Ensure you have a back-up battery for medical equipment. If you have any medical equipment that depends on electricity, make sure that back-up devices are in working order.

Secure your home.      

  • Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home if you're going to be away on vacation.
  • Keep an additional battery for your home security system on hand.
  • Protect your electronics and use surge protectors for your computers, TVs, etc.
  • If you need to leave your home during an outage, ensure any heat-producing devices are turned off. This includes lights in your home (except one inside and one outside).

Keep a spare cell phone battery or a portable charger in your home so that you can ensure your cellphone has battery during the outage. Cordless landlines plugged into an electrical outlet will not work during an outage.

Familiarize yourself with your garage door manual. If you have an electric garage door opener, locate the emergency release handle and learn how to manually operate the door without power.

What to do during a power outage

 

 

  What to do during a power outage

Know what to do when the power goes out in your neighborhood. Follow these tips we’ve collected to stay safe during a power outage.

1. Find out if the po​​wer failure is limited to your home

    • Use our outage map to see if the outage has been reported.
    • If you have signed up for power outage alerts, check to see if you had a text or email about the power being out.
    • If the map doesn't show an outage in your neighborhood, take a peek out your windows to see if your neighbors have power
    • If they do, check your circuit breaker panel or fuse box.

2. Report a power ​outage in y​our neighborhood

    • If you’ve confirmed there’s a power outage in your neighborhood, that is not included on the outage map, please call our power emergency line at (780) 412-4500.
    • Please give us as many details as possible to help us get the right crews and equipment to the right location.

3. Turn off heat-pro​​​ducing appliances and devices, including home computers, and unplug personal devices

    • Unplugging things minimizes the risk of fire when the power comes back on.

    • It will also protect your devices from any potential power surges.

4. Don't open​​​ or turn off refrigerators or freezers

    • Only open the doors when necessary.
    • If the doors stay shut, a full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 48 hours, a full fridge will stay cold for about 4 hours.
    • A helpful tip is to keep a bag or block of ice in your freezer that can be put in the fridge during a power outage to keep it cold for a longer amount of time.

5. Turn on back-up power for your sump pump

    • Your sump pump may need electricity to work.

    • Know how your sump pump works and consider consulting a professional on the back-up power options available to you.

    • Learn more about sump pumps and other ways to protect your home from basement floods.

6. Turn off all lights except one inside your home and one outside

    • Both lights will let you and our crews know when the power is back on.
Find out if the power failure is limited to your home.   
  • Use our outage page to see if the outage has been reported.

  • If the page doesn't indicate an outage in your neighborhood, take a peek out your windows to see if your neighbors have power
  • If they do, check your circuit breaker panel or fuse box.

Call EPCOR.
Tell us about the outage and if it's affecting more than just your home. Give us as many details as possible so we can dispatch the right crews and equipment to the right location.

Turn off heat-generating appliances (including home computers) and unplug personal devices.
This minimizes the risk of fire when service is restored.

Don't turn off refrigerators or freezers.
Only open the doors when necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 48 hours, and a fridge will maintain temperature for about 4 hours if the doors stay closed. A helpful tip is to keep a bag or block of ice in your freezer that can be transferred to the fridge in the case of an outage to preserve the cold environment for longer.

Turn off all lights except one inside your home and one outside.
Both lights will let you and our crews know when the power is back on.

Turn on back-up power for your sump pump.
Some homes have sump pumps which protect the building from flooding during rainfall. However, many of these devices are reliant on electricity. Familiarize yourself with your system, and consider consulting a professional on the back-up power options available to you.

Safety first

  • Never go near or touch a fallen power line.
    Always assume that a line or anything it's in contact with is energized.
  • Keep yourself and others at least ten metres (33 feet) away from a fallen power line.
    Don't try to remove debris around the line.
  • If you see a fallen power line, report it.
    Tell us the exact location by calling us or 911.

What to do when the power comes back on

 
  • Turn on only the most essential appliances.
    Give the electrical system a chance to stabilize. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before reconnecting other appliances.
  • Check your fridge and freezer.
    Ensure that they're back on.
  • Reset.
    Reset your clocks, timers, and alarms.
  • Replace any items you used from your emergency kit.
    Be prepared for future outages.

 

 What to do after a power outage

Once your power is back on, here are some tips on what to do after a power outage to protect your appliances and devices and things to check.

1. Turn on only t​​he most essential appliances

    • Give the​ electrical system a chance to stabilize. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before reconnecting other appliances.

2. If devices do not turn on, check the circuit breaker 

  • First, unplug all your devices and appliances that are not already plugged into a surge protector.
  • Check the circuit breaker. You might have to reset the breaker after a power outage.
  • If your furnace doesn't kick in after the power outage, it might turn on after resetting the circuit breaker.
    • Newer thermostats that are wired directly to the furnace can reset during a power outage. Check the settings on your thermostat. If they've reset to the factory defaults, you'll have to reprogram it.
    • If your furnace is tied to a GFCI outlet, the outlet may have tripped. Look in your utility room for a GFCI outlet and press the reset button on it.
    • If problems persist, contact a local HVAC company.

3. Check your fr​idge and freezer

    •  Make sure they're back on.
    • If power was out for more than four hours, check the temperature of your fridge. Be mindful of food safety during a power outage. You may need to throw food out.

4. Replace an​​y items you used from your emergency kit

    • If you used any item​s from your emergency kit, be sure to replace them so you’re prepared for future outages.

5. Check you​​​r property

  • If a storm caused your power outage, check your property for damage, debris, fallen trees, or power lines.
  • If something has contacted a power line or a power line is down, stay 10 meters away from the area. Call our power emergency line at (780) 412-4500. We will send out a crew to safely remove debris from the power line and make any necessary repairs to power equipment.

6. ​​​Reset your clocks, timers, and alarms

 

 

Be safe around fallen power lines

Power outages can be caused by a fallen power line. If you see a power line that is down or damaged from a storm or debris, stay safe:

  • Never go near or touch a fallen power line.
  • Keep yourself and others at least ten metres (33 feet) away from a fallen power line.
  • If you see a fallen power line, report it to (780) 412-4500 or call 911.

Learn more about what to do and how to be safe around fallen or damaged power lines or equipment.

 

Enter content here.
Enter content here.