POWER FAILURE CHECKLISTS
BEFORE AN OUTAGE
Make sure your Hydro utility company has your current phone number so they can match it to your account if you call during an outage. (Wired and mobile/cell phones will work during power outages; wireless phones require power and will not work.)
Draw up an emergency plan and share it with everyone in your household. Contact your regional health authority if you rely on life-sustaining equipment, and be prepared with an adequate backup in the event of a power outage. For a longer period, make plans to move to a hospital or area that has power.
Check emergency equipment periodically (flashlights, radios, generators, etc.) to make sure they are in working order. Consider buying battery operated carbon-monoxide and smoke detectors.
Protect sensitive electrical equipment (computers, DVD players, televisions, etc.) from electrical power surges by installing surge suppressors or other power protection devices.
Draw up a list of important local telephone numbers: police, fire, poison control centre. Include the Ontario Hydro phone number 1-800-434-1235 for reporting an outage. Post the list near every telephone in your home.
DURING AN OUTAGE
Report outages & information: 1-800-434-1235
Ontario Hydro: Ontario Hydro One
Hydro outage information: Storm Centre Outage Maps
Hydro outage information for mobile devices: Hydro Phone Apps
Never go near a fallen power line as it can kill you. Stay at least three metres away and do not attempt to remove debris surrounding the line.
Turn off electrical appliances to prevent damage, fire or overload to the power grid when power resumes. A power surge after start-up could damage electronic equipment such as computers, microwaves, and furnaces controls. Turn off all stoves and heaters to minimize the risk of fire when power is restored.
Occasionally, after power has come back on, short outages may occur as part of the restoration effort. Give the electrical system a chance to stabilize. Turn on the most essential appliances first, and wait at least 10 minutes before reconnecting the others.
Never use a camp stove, barbecue, or propane or kerosene heater indoors. A build-up of the odorless carbon monoxide gas that is created can be deadly in unventilated spaces. They are also a fire hazard. If you must, operate it beside an open window or door for short periods, never leave unattended - and have working battery operated carbon-monoxide detectors.
Use flashlights for light. Use candles in proper candle holders only as a last resort. Never leave burning candles unattended. They are a potential fire hazard.
Turn off all lights except one inside your home and one outside. Keeping one light on inside will indicate to you when restoration has occurred, and a light outside will assist hydro crews in determining whether or not your power has been restored.
Keep the doors of your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep your food as cold as possible. Check food carefully for signs of spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out!
Refrigerator: Meat and fish spoil quickly above 4ºC (40ºF), as do foods prepared with mayonnaise, cream or eggs. Cooked and cured meat and hard cheese will keep several days in a closed refrigerator. Purchase bags of ice to put in the refrigerator (or cooler).
Freezer: A full freezer stays frozen about two days; at half full, about one day. Cover the freezer with blankets will further insulate the freezer and help food stay frozen longer. Food with ice crystals at the centre is normally safe to refreeze. Once thawed, most foods should not be re-frozen.
Monitor radio. Listen to the news radio stations in your local area to check for updates.
Help children cope with calming words and actions to provide reassurance. If you react with alarm, a child may become scared. Try to present a realistic picture to children about what has happened and the expected outcome. Encourage children to participate in games, arts, crafts and reading. Keep flashlights, note books, toys, and crafts readily available. Play games by flashlight will keep them entertained and reassured.
Anticipate long traffic delays. In areas where traffic lights are out, intersections should be treated as four-way stops.
Remember to reset your clocks, automatic timers, and alarms.
Restock your emergency cupboard so the supplies will be there when they are needed again.
Pull out your emergency kit once a year and make sure it still fits the needs of your household. Replace batteries with fresh ones.
BASIC EMERGENCY KIT
Flashlight(s) in working order
Battery-powered radio in working order
Telephone with a cord, if you don´t normally use one n A telephone with a cord will usually work without electricity, but a cordless one will not (the kind that sits in a recharger base)
First aid kit, including extra prescription medicine if needed
Non-perishable, ready-to-eat foods, such as canned meats, fruits and vegetables; granola bars, trail mix, crackers and spreads
Bottled water: three-day supply (four litres per person per day: two for drinking and two for other uses)
Manual can opener
Warm clothing and blankets
Supplies for those with special needs, if applicable, for example, infants, elderly or disabled persons
Entertainment: games, cards, books Your Home Outage