Most people don’t think of being prepared for a power outage until it’s too late. You can lessen the impact of an outage by taking the time to prepare in advance. You and your family should be prepared to cope on your own during a power outage for at least 72 hours. A part of being prepared for an outage is to create an emergency plan with your family and build a basic emergency kit.
An emergency plan will help you and your family know what to do in case of an emergency. You may not be together when the power goes out so start by discussing what could happen and what you should do at home, at school or at work if an emergency happens.
- To be prepared, develop a plan and share it with your family to ensure everyone knows what to do.
- Prepare an emergency kit and store it in a place that is easy to access. Check the items in your kit regularly to ensure all equipment work.
- Make a list of local emergency contact number such as the fire department, health centre, emergency services dispatch, and QEC’s emergency line 1-800-491-8127.
Write down and exercise your plan with the entire family at least once a year. Make sure everybody has a copy and keeps it close at hand. Don’t be caught off guard by an unplanned power outage.
In an emergency you will need some basic supplies such as a flashlight, battery-operated radio, food and water. The key is to make sure they are organized and easy to find. Would you be able to find your flashlight in the dark?
Basic Emergency Kit Items
- Easy to carry bag – for all your emergency kit needs
- Water – Pack two litres of water per person per day (include small bottles that can be carried easily)
- Food – Pack food that won’t spoil like canned food, energy bars, peanut butter and dried foods
- Manual can opener
- Flashlight and batteries or candles and matches
- Battery-powered or wind-up radio
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Telephone with cord that plugs directly into the telephone jack
- Additional warm clothing and blankets
- Special needs items – prescription medications, infant formula or equipment for people with disabilities
- Cash – include smaller bills, such as $5 and $10
- Emergency plan with important phone numbers
- Extra keys for your car and house
Additional Emergency Kit Items
- Change of clothing and footwear for each household member
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each household member
- A whistle
- Garbage bags for personal sanitation
- Toiletries - hand sanitizer, toilet paper, personal hygiene items
- Safety gloves
- Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, nails, pocket knife, etc.)
- Two additional litres of water per person per day - For cooking and cleaning
- Small fuel-operated stove and fuel – Never use a camp stove or barbecue indoors. Deadly, odourless carbon monoxide gases can build up and harm or lead to death.
- Entertainment – board games, deck of cards, books and toys