What To Do In A Power Outage

Posted By Amber Electrical  

A power outage is when there's a disruption in the electricity. Power outages are extremely common and can last from minutes to days or weeks, with the average outage lasting between two and four hours.

Power outages can often affect multiple houses and even whole neighbourhoods. These blackouts are usually caused by system errors or problems with the supplied power. If a blackout is only affecting your house, there may be an electrical problem, and you should call an electrician asap.



In an unplanned power outage, there are some things you can do to stay safe and comfortable until the electricity comes back on.


Candles lit during a power outage


The first thing you need to find is another light source. First, find a flashlight and keep it handy. Candles are also a great way of lighting without electricity. Make sure that your candles are in stable holders and away from anything that could catch fire.


It's important to minimise opening your refrigerator doors as much as possible to keep frozen food from melting or spoiling. The more you can keep things cool the better.




Keep a battery-operated radio nearby so that during an outage, you can still keep in contact with the local radio station for any power restoration updates. A car radio is a good alternative if you don't have a battery-operated radio.

Medical Equipment

If you have an infant or someone who relies on medical equipment or life support equipment, plan for how you will care for them during an outage. Be sure that your electricity retailer is aware that you require life-saving equipment at all times.

Battery powered radio for use during a power outage



Woman staring at fridge during a power oitage

Electrical Equipment

Power appliances directly plugged into the wall will obviously lose power in an outage. It's important to consider this as it will limit what you can do while your house has lost power. You may also consider unplugging appliances in case of a power surge when the power returns.

Keep Calm

While extended power outages can happen, they are uncommon, so it's important to stay calm and wait for the power to come back on. During such times, it's important to check in on family, friends, and neighbours who may be more vulnerable and need extra support.



Fallen power lines causing a power outage

Fallen Powerlines

Fallen power lines can be a serious hazard that can pose a threat to safety, property, and the environment. If you see downed powerlines, do not touch them or approach them in any way. Instead, immediately call 000, especially if a person is injured or in danger. It is also important to seek shelter indoors and away from windows until the powerlines are cleared.

It is important to take steps to minimize damage when a powerline has fallen. This may include turning off large electrical appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers to avoid overloading the system when electricity returns. If you need to use a generator, ensure it is safely connected and operated according to manufacturer instructions to prevent accidental electrocution or other hazards.



Preparing for power outages

Being prepared for a blackout is important, especially if you live in an area that is prone to strong storms or high winds. One of the best things you can do to prepare for a power outage is to keep an emergency kit stocked with essential supplies, such as flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid materials, and non-perishable food and water for each member of your household.

You should also have a plan in place for how you will care for or contact vulnerable family members during a blackout, such as infants or elderly relatives. This may involve setting up alternate arrangements ahead of time.

With a little planning, you can get through a power outage with minimal disruption to your daily routine.

Family reading together with a flashlight during a power outage


Power generator being used during a power outage

Power Generators

It's also important to consider purchasing a backup generator to ensure continued power during extended blackouts. Have an electrician inspect your home wiring system beforehand and make sure you choose the right size generator for your specific needs. This can prove especially useful in cases where the long-term loss of power is expected or predicted due to storms or other extreme weather events. 


By staying calm and following these steps, you can ensure that a power outage will not greatly affect you, your house or your family.