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​While most power outages are resolved within hours, outages caused by severe weather that can damage power lines, including freezing rain, high winds and snow storms, may last a lot longer. When these kinds of outages occur, you can be left without heating, lighting and even running water.

6 tips to prepare for your next power outage

Get an emergency preparedness kit 

Either stock up yourself or purchase an emergency kit from the Canadian Red Cross to keep in your home in case of a power outage or natural disaster. Be sure it includes:

    • A flashlight and extra batteries
    • First aid supplies
    • Local maps
    • Cash in small bills
    • Personal hygiene products and medications
    • A manual can opener
    • Extra keys for your home and vehicle 

Keep a supply of fresh water and non-perishable food

Store enough food and water for each member of your household to last at least 3 days. 1 gallon of water per person per day is recommended.

Have a back-up power source for charging smartphones and other small devices

Not only do smartphones keep you connected to emergency services and loved ones, you can also use them to stay up to date on efforts to return power to your area and public safety information.

Learn how to manually control your electric garage door

If your vehicle is parked in your garage when the power goes out, you'll want to make sure you know how to open it manually using the release handle. Most garage door openers have a rope with a handle on the end (usually red) that when you pull it, puts your garage into manual mode and allows you to safely lift the door.

Keep your vehicle's gas tank full

Most gas stations use electricity to power their pumps so when an outage occurs, you could be out of luck if your tank is running low. If there's a storm on its way, make sure you make a preemptive visit to the gas station. 

Buy a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector

During severe storms and power outages, some people turn to alternative power sources for heating, such as wood burning fires, that can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide (CO) in their homes. Reduce your risk of CO poisoning by keeping a battery-powered CO detector in your home.

Sources: Canadian Red Cross, Government of Canada, Creative Door

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About fair competition

All customers are free to purchase natural gas services from the default supply provider or from a retailer of their choice and to purchase electricity services from the regulated rate provider or from a retailer of their choice. The delivery of natural gas and electricity to you is not affected by your choice. If you change who you purchase natural gas services or electricity services from, you will continue receiving natural gas and electricity from the distribution company in your service area. For a current list of retailers you may choose from, visit ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta). Some offers, in whole or in part, may not be available in gas co-ops, municipally owned utilities, and some Rural Electrification Associations.