Being prepared for a power outage

We understand any power outage – whether caused by a storm, vehicle accident, or we need to disconnect your electricity supply for maintenance or upgrade – can be inconvenient.

Being prepared and having a plan for your home or business will help you manage until the power is back on.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for a power outage:

Keep a torch, battery powered lantern and spare batteries handy

A battery powered torch or lantern not only helps light up the night but are safer to use than candles and matches.

Know where to locate your ICP number

No power? Log a fault with your electricity retailer – that’s the company you pay your power bill to. So they can log the job, they’ll need your ‘ICP number’. It’s the unique number for your power connection, which you can find on your electricity bill.

Protect electronics with surge devices

If the power goes out, it’s good to know your expensive electronics are protected. A surge protection device will help protect the likes of your TV, computer and other electronic appliances from damage.

Keep your fridge and freezer closed

Keep the cold in by keeping your fridge and freezer shut. Most freezers will keep food at a safe temperature for up to 24 hours, so long as the door stays closed.

Switch off sensitive appliances

Switch off sensitive electronic appliances such as computers and TVs. These can be affected by a power surge when the electricity comes back on. 

Have a supply of emergency water

Water pumps in rural areas may not work when the power is out. Make sure you store emergency water supplies for drinking and washing. If you’re notified of a planned outage, keep buckets of water nearby on the day for flushing the toilet.

Consider a spare battery or mobile power pack

Make sure you fully charge your devices regularly and consider having a spare battery or mobile power pack. Your wifi and cordless landline phones will likely be affected in an outage, so having a back-up communications plan is important. You may be able to use your mobile phone to create a wifi hotspot. You can create your mobile hotspot from the settings of your phone (eg using a mobile phone to create a wifi hotspot). 

Consider a back-up generator

If you run a business, consider a back-up generator as part of your business contingency planning. Then, even if the power is out, you can keep operating as usual.

Know how to override garage doors

Your vehicle doesn’t need to be stuck in the garage if there’s a power cut. If you have electric doors on your garage or live in an electrically gated area, it’s a good idea to learn how to manually override them before there’s a power cut. For many garage doors, look for the red cord, pull it down firmly until it clicks, then walk over to the door to push it up manually. Don’t try to pull the door using the manual release cord – it will snap under the load.

Ensure your BBQ is ready to go

Make sure the gas is topped up for your BBQ or camping stove. That way you can continue to prepare hot food for your family. 

Switch off appliances

If the power goes out, turn off appliances in use, such as heaters, stove tops, kettles and ovens, so they don’t come on straight away when your power comes back on.

Medically dependent on power?

If you or someone in your household is medically dependent on power, check with your doctor and your energy retailer (the company you pay your power bill to) to ensure your back up plan is up to date.