Safety tips for Haliburton County's planned power outage
The local health unit has provided tips for residents of Haliburton County ahead of the planned power outage on Sunday, Nov. 24, which Hydro One estimates will affect some 11,000 of their customers.
The outage is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is required for the company to do work on the hydro grid.
This outage map, provided by Hydro One, shows approximately which areas of Haliburton County will be affected by the planned outage on Sunday, Nov. 24. Customers requiring additional information about this outage can call 1-888-664-9376.
“We want people to be safe, not sorry, when it comes to the food they eat and the water they use, especially given the planned electrical outage,” said Bernie Mayer, manager of environmental health with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, in a press release.
Local residents are encouraged to consider the following safety tips from the health unit:
Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed to maintain the temperature inside. Without power, the refrigerator section will keep foods cool for four to six hours if the door is kept closed. Without power, an upright or chest freezer that is completely full will keep food frozen for about two days. A half-full freezer will keep food frozen for one day. Avoid opening and closing the freezer to check the food inside.
If possible, add bags of ice to the refrigerator or freezer to keep temperatures cooler should the power be out for a longer period.
If unsure whether a food item is spoiled, play it safe and throw it out. Eating unsafe foods may cause foodborne illness.
Private Well Water
Before the power outage, consider filling up containers with water so that you have some water available. Any containers used for drinking water should be properly cleaned/disinfected first before filling. Stocking up on bottled water is also an option.
Most residences that use well water rely on an electrical pump to move the water into the home. During a power outage, the pump will be off and there will be no water available. Remember that some homes have treatment systems for their well water that use electricity (e.g. Ultraviolet light). When power is restored to the pump, ensure that the treatment system is working.
Once power is restored, run the water for approximately five minutes before using it. This will flush out the water line to ensure it is safe.
Private Septic Systems
Some on-site septic systems use pumps that run on electricity. The pumps move waste through the system and into the leaching bed or treatment unit. If you are still using water in your home, remember that septic and pump tanks will continue to fill with waste-water. If the tanks get too full, the effluent could back up into the home. Water use should be limited until the power is restored.
Check to ensure that vulnerable individuals such as an older relative or neighbour are all right, particularly if the heat and hydro have been off for some time.
If you rely on electric heating, turn up the thermostat prior to the power outage to ensure your home is relatively warm.
Avoid using camp stoves, lanterns or barbecues indoors during the outage. These devices pose a safety risk, particularly from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Hydro One customers requiring information on the outage can call 1-888-664-9376.