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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

 

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).

We've prepared a power outage checklist to make this process easier for you and your family. You can also visit the City of Edmonton's website for more information on how to prepare for emergencies.

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 neighbour 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

 
Find out if the power failure is limited to your home.
  • Use our outage map to see if the outage has been reported.

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

Call our power emergencies phone number.
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. You can learn more about these devices in our Home Owner's Guide to Flood Prevention. 

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 our power emergencies phone number 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.