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After the outage: 7 tips for when the power comes back on

Tuesday, August 22, 2017, 10:28 AM - During extreme weather, power outages can happen. Once power is restored, there are a few things you can do to get life back to normal.

Here are seven tips on what to do when the lights come back on:

1. Look after your appliances

It’s a good idea to unplug appliances and tools during an outage to avoid power surges.

When the power comes back, don't rush! Gradually turn essential appliances back on, then wait 10 to 15 minutes before reconnecting your other electronics to give your electrical system a chance to stabilize.

2. Check in on your food

In the event of an outage, food in your freezer should stay frozen for 24 to 36 hours, provided the door has been kept closed. If it's defrosted, cook it right away, or throw it out. Your fridge will stay cold for four to six hours, if the door is kept closed. Check food for signs of spoilage before consuming. When in doubt, throw it out.

3. Be cautious around your basement

When power is restored — especially following a storm — check your basement for flooding, but stay clear of any standing water. If your basement has flooded, have an expert check all electrical infrastructure such as outlets, fuse boxes and appliances to see if all are safe to turn back on.

4. Turn the water back on

If you have shut it off, turn your water supply back on and make sure your hot water heater is full before restoring power to it.

5. Check in on your neighbours

After the power is back on, it's a good idea to check in with your neighbours to see if they're all right, especially if they’re elderly or they live alone.

6. Reset clocks

This one sounds more like a "should-do" rather than a "must-do," but it’s still important.

Aside from being annoying, the clock that's continuously blinking 12:00 may be set to an appliance with an alarm or timer you rely on.

7. Restock your emergency kit

If the outage has lasted more than a few hours, you may have dipped into your emergency kit. Now that the power is back on, make sure to replace the items you used during the outage, such as water, food and batteries for your flashlight.

SOURCE: Public Safety Canada

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