Get prepared for a power outage

An illustration of a power outage

A power outage is a short or long-term loss of electric power to an area. You may be without light, heat and hot water. To locate confirmed power outages in your region, go to BC Hydro’s outage map.

To prepare for a power outage:

Power outage checklist

Severe winter weather like ice, wind and snow can cause power outages. Follow this checklist before winter and be prepared to live without power for several days.

  • Have a licensed contractor perform furnace and fireplace maintenance ahead of winter every year
  • Inspect your chimney or flue
    • This helps prevent structural fires and ensures smoke, carbon monoxide and other potentially harmful gases are properly vented
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms if you have an attached garage, wood stove, propane heater or other fuel-burning appliances
  • Consider how people with disabilities or people requiring assistance may be affected during a power outage:
    • How will you leave home with out elevator service (if applicable)?
    • Do you have a plan for a backup power supply for essential medical equipment?
  • Have a battery-operated radio
    • This allows you to listen to your local station for warnings, advice and instructions
  • ​​Stow flashlights with extra batteries
  • Make sure you have an adequate supply of food and water in your emergency kit
    • Non-perishable food: minimum three-day to two-week supply
    • Water: four litres per person, per day for drinking and sanitation
  • Food in your fridge and freezer is usually safe to consume if the power is out for less than four hours.
    • Keep doors of refrigerators and freezers closed during a power outage to keep the cold air in and avoid spoiling food.
  • Fireplaces, wood stoves, barbecues and camp stoves can be used outdoors for emergency cooking. Don't use barbecues or camp stoves indoors
  • For more information on preparing for a power outage, visit BC Hydro and FortisBC

Be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning. In the event of a power outage, never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven. Use gas-powered generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. 

Download the guide

Find out what to do before, during and after extreme winter weather, storms and power outages.

Severe winter weather and storm preparedness guide (PDF, 12.6MB)

For more information or inquiries about this guide, please contact us at