Power and Water Outages

An outage is a short or long-term loss of water or electric power. It can affect a single property, a building or an entire community. Many of Alberta’s hazards, such as high winds, freezing rain and flooding, can damage power lines causing power outages.

Water outages can be caused by extreme temperature fluctuations and pipe corrosion causing water main breaks, among other reasons.

Outages can leave you without heat, water, lights, air conditioning, information services, and vital communication channels. Services such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, and ATMs may be closed during an extended outage.

Printable resources

During a Power or Water Outage

  • Activate and follow your emergency plan.
  • Get your emergency kit and keep it nearby.
  • If the power is still on in your neighbourhood but not in your home, check your breaker.
  • Call your utility provider to determine if the interruption is widespread or only affecting your property.
  • Leave one light on inside and one light on outside so you and the utility worker will know when power has been restored.
  • Do not use any household appliances that require water.
  • Know when to go. If it is too cold to stay where you are and if it is safe to leave, head to a shelter until it is safe to return.
    • Carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable. Generators, camp stoves, or barbecues do not belong indoors; gas stoves and ovens are not a safe source of heat.
  • Listen to a local radio or television station for information from local authorities.

After a Power or Water Outage

Outages can create safety risks and cause property damage. Be aware of the risks and take caution when power and water returns.

  • Unplug appliances and electronics before turning on the main power switch.
  • Allow the power to stabilize and wait 15 minutes before reconnecting tools and appliances.
  • Turn the essentials on first. Start with heat, followed by the refrigerator and freezer.
  • Turn on the main water supply.
  • Make sure the hot water heater is filled before turning it on.
  • Connect with your utility provider for more information.
  • Do not enter a flooded basement unless you are sure the power is disconnected.
  • Keep yourself, kids and pets away from affected areas in your community.
  • Never use water-damaged appliances, electrical outlets or fuse-breaker panels until they have been checked by a qualified electrician.
  • Check all food for signs of spoilage and damage. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • After 24 hours of no power, all refrigerated medication should be thrown out, unless the label says otherwise.