What to do in a power outage

The east-coast of Australia has one of the largest interconnected electricity networks in the world and it’s extremely reliable. But with natural disasters like bushfires commonplace in the summer months and ageing coal-fired power plants becoming less and less reliable, blackouts do hit from time to time. 

So here are the top four things to do in a power outage. 

 

What to do in a power outage:

 

1. Establish whether the power outage is impacting the whole neighbourhood or just your home

It’s not uncommon for the power in your home to go out due to a tripped fuse or an overloaded power board. If this is the case, the safety switch in your fuse box will likely be off. Simply switch it back on to restore your electricity.  

If this isn’t the issue, your next port of call should be your local electrician. Contact them as soon as possible and don’t touch any electrical equipment before they arrive.

 

2. Check your distributor’s website or social media

So the power is out to all houses on your street? In this case, you should turn to your electricity distributor. Also known as the network company, these are the people responsible for maintaining the electricity poles and wires in your area. 

Check your electricity bill to find out who your distributor is and then visit their website or social media pages. 

In the event of a power outage, they’ll be working to restore your electricity and should provide updates there about what caused the outage (for example, increased electricity demand on hot days or extreme weather) and how long it will be until the power is restored. If not, you can find their contact details and contact them for more information.

 

3. Turn your appliances off at the wall

While you’re waiting for the power to come back on, it’s a good idea to turn your lights and appliances off at the wall. This is a precautionary measure to protect them in the event of a power surge when the electricity is restored.

 

4. Check on vulnerable neighbours

Check on your elderly and/or vulnerable neighbours to make sure they’re okay. 

If you know you have particularly vulnerable neighbours, this should be the first thing you do when a power outage hits. It’s also a good way to check whether you’re experiencing a neighbourhood-wide blackout or whether the power is just out at your place.