Prolonged Power Outage Tips

Freezing rain, sleet storms, cold snaps, heat waves and even high winds can overload the electric power system. Among the many threats that accompany severe weather conditions is the possibility of a prolonged power outage.

To make sure your household is prepared, consider these tips and plan ahead.

Assemble a Kit

  • Keep a few flashlights in an accessible place and a cell phone handy to signal for help.
  • Get a battery-operated radio, preferably one with alternative energy sources such as a solar panel, a hand-crank generator, or both.
  • Stock batteries for all battery-operated devices and chargers for electronic communications devices you plan to use during a power outage.
  • Gather bottled drinking water and non-perishable, ready-to-eat food to last a few days.
  • Along with a first-aid kit, be sure to include special medications, prescriptions and sanitation supplies.
  • Have an extra set of car keys, credit cards, and cash on hand.

When the Power Goes Out

  • Turn off any electrical equipment that was in use at the time of the power failure, but leave one light switched on so that you'll know as soon as power is restored.
  • Contact your electrical utility to inform them of the outage. Save the proper number in your cell phone ahead of time.
  • Listen to the local radio for updated information on weather conditions and power restoration.
  • Do not open your freezer or fridge unless it is absolutely necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours if the door remains closed.
  • Indoor temperatures can soar during prolonged summertime power outages. This can be uncomfortable for anyone, but it can be dangerous for infants, toddlers, the elderly and those with certain medical conditions. Families with at-risk members should know of multiple climate-controlled safe spaces where they can wait for power restoration.

In the event of a power-related emergency, we recommend that you call the local utility company for your area to report an incident. They are responsible for maintaining and repairing the lines, poles, and meters in your area, and need to know when something happens that may require their attention.

For more information on hazards in Alberta, contact your municipality or community's Director of Emergency Management or the Alberta Emergency Management Agency at 780-422-9000 (Dial 310-0000 for toll-free access outside Edmonton). You can also visit

Power Outages - Alberta Emergency Management Agency. [cited 2018 February] Available at URL:

Note: These tips are suggested as general practices. However, actual results may vary.