Preparing for Power Outages
Bruce County Emergency Management recommends that you plan to be self-sufficient for up to 72 hours. Learn how to build your family a 72 Hour Kit.
Are you prepared if the power goes out? What if it stays out for a prolonged period of time?
Do you know how you will stay warm or what you will eat? How will you keep your cell phone charged? Do you have 72 hours’ worth of supplies to get you and your family through those three days and longer?
“We often take our heat and electricity for granted. Being prepared for an unexpected power outage is important. Bruce County Emergency Management recommends that you plan to be self-sufficient for up to 72 hours,” says Ray Lux, Bruce County Emergency Management Coordinator. “Learn how to build your family a 72 Hour Kit by visiting the Bruce County website and keep everyone safe and comfortable if the lights go out.”
Your 72-Hour Emergency Kit
The key is to make sure your kit is organized and easy to find. Make sure your kit is easy to carry and everyone in the household knows where it is. Keep it in a backpack, duffle bag, or suitcase with wheels, in an easy-to-reach, accessible place, such as your front-hall closet. Include:
Water – at least 2 litres per person per day
Food that won't spoil, such as canned food, energy bars, and dried foods
Manual can opener
Crank or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries)
Crank or battery-powered radio (and extra batteries)
First aid kit
Extra keys (vehicle and home)
Cash in smaller bills and change
A copy of your emergency plan and contact information
Special items such as prescription medication, infant formula, and equipment for people with disabilities
During a Power Outage:
Check if the power outage is limited to your home. If your neighbours have power, check your circuit breakers.
If your neighbours' power is also out, contact your electrical supply company.
Turn off all tools, appliances, electronics, and all but one light inside and outside.
Use your thermostat to turn off heating or air conditioning.
Avoid opening your freezer or fridge.
Do not use barbeques, camping heating equipment, or home generators indoors. They can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
Monitor a crank or battery-powered radio and online for weather warnings and instructions from authorities.
If possible, use a battery or crank-powered light source. If you must use candles, use proper candle holders. Never leave lit candles unattended. Always extinguish candles before going to bed.
When the power returns:
In cold weather, turn heating back on first, then wait 10 minutes before reconnecting everything else.
Check food supplies. If a freezer door has been kept closed, food should stay frozen for 24-36 hours. Food contaminated with bacteria does not necessarily smell or look spoiled. When in doubt, throw it out.
Discover more about Emergency Preparedness at www.brucecounty.on.ca/getprepared.
The Owen Sound Current is an ad-free, reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Article and images submitted by Adam Ferguson, County of Bruce