Helpful Power Outage tips
This page provides basic safety tips and what to do before, during and after a power outage.
Preparation steps before a power outage/storm
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
- Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener or electric gates is located and how to operate it.
- Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full-gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Secure outdoor furniture and other items that could become missiles during a storm.
- Check your BBQ gas bottle and refill if necessary.
- If you’re on a water pump – store water for drinking and to flush toilets.
- Medical dependent - if you are reliant on electricity for medical purposes click here for information provided by the Electricty Authority. We also recommend you come up with a plan for what to do when the power goes out - this may include relocating to another property with power or calling 111.
- Go to countiespower.com/outages to check if your outage is on the map or to report it. Check out the Counties Power Facebook page as this will be regularly updated.
During a Power Outage: Safety Tips
- If you see downed or damaged power lines or equipment stay clear! Treat all lines as live and called Counties Power on 0800 100 202 immediately.
- Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
- Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
- Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
- If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
- Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.
After a Power Outage
- If the power has been restored, however it’s not working in your house, check the internal fuses. If the problem persists, call Counties Power on 0800 100 202.
- Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 4° C for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odour, colour or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.
- Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies.
Check out the Civil Defence website for more emergency information