Prepare and Stay Safe

Storm Preparedness


We know that you rely on electricity to power your day. Being storm ready can help you stay calm—and know that our crews are safely working as quickly as possible to restore your power.

PREPARATION IS KEY

To be storm ready:

  • Save our outage line 1-877-428-6004 to your contact list on your cell phone.
  • Bookmark our outage map and online outage reporting tool to report and track your outage online.
  • Follow us on X (Twitter) for updates on the storm, our response and power restorations.
  • Track the weather by following local weather reports or by visiting Environment Canada.
  • Charge your cell phone—it becomes essential during an outage, as you’ll be able to get the latest information, update others and check on loved ones.
  • Update your contact information in MyAccount—so our Customer Care Centre can reach you, if necessary.
  • Prepare a 72-houremergency kit with canned and dried foods, manual can openers, water (2 litres per person per day), batteries, flashlights, a first aid kit, blankets and cash, a mobile phone, a power bank charger, prescriptions and any other necessary medical supplies.
  • To avoid electrical surges if you do lose power, turn off and unplug electrical equipment such as televisions.
  • Lower the temperature of your fridge to 40ºF/4ºC and of your freezer to 0ºF/-18ºC
  • Learn to manually operate your automatic garage door.
  • Make sure backup generators are installed by a qualified electrician and follow the manufacturer's safety instructions.

STAY CLEAR FROM HAZARDOUS SITUATIONS

For safety, consider all cables and wires to be live whether they are electrical, cable or telephone and stay a school bus distance away.

If a line is in the water, there is even more reason to be cautious—consider it and the water energized. Keep children away from all flooded areas and areas with lots of debris, because the water or storm debris could be hiding a live wire.

You shouldn’t try to remove or trim branches near a powerline. If a tree or tree limbs have fallen on a powerline or pulled it down, keep a safe distance from the line or the tree. Contact us as soon as you can at 1-877-428-6004.

ASSESS YOUR PROPERTY AND REPLENISH SUPPLIES

Storms can cause electrical damage to individual properties, which require a certified electrician to repair before we can safely restore the power to your home or business. If your meter mast is damaged, you need to get an electrical contractor to make repairs before we can restore power. Read more on our Meter Mast Repair page.

After the storm passes, make sure to replenish your emergency kit, supplies and any other required items—so that you’re prepared for next time.

Safety


Safety is our priority, and we're here to help keep you safe ahead of storms.

Generator safety

Installation

Generators that aren’t installed correctly put you, your family, your property and our crews at risk.

Never install a generator indoors. If you plan to connect your generator directly to your electrical system, a qualified electrician must install it. The electrician must apply for a wiring permit and have the generator inspected by a Nova Scotia Power wiring inspector before it is used.

Never feed power from your generator into a wall outlet or directly into your electrical system. This could allow power to back-feed into our system and result in severe injury or death to our employees. When power is restored after an outage, it may feed directly into your generator, causing severe damage. To eliminate this dangerous situation, a transfer switch is required to be properly installed by a qualified electrician.

Safe Operation

To ensure you are using your generator safely:

  • Carefully read the owner's manual before using your generator.
  • Carefully read the owner's manual before using your generator.
  • Never operate the generator indoors or in an enclosed space. Generators emit deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
  • Operate outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area to prevent exhaust fumes from entering windows, doors and fresh air intake areas.
  • Operating your generator in wet conditions may cause electrocution. Avoid contact with the generator if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Check cords running from your generator to make sure they are in good condition, rated for outdoor use and are the proper wire gauge size for the appliance load.
  • Do not store fuel indoors or refuel your generator while it's running.

Carbon monoxide kills

  • Carbon monoxide is a gas you can’t see or smell, created by the combustion of fuels, such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane.
  • Every year, dozens of Nova Scotians are admitted to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning, and in some cases the poisoning is fatal. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headache, nausea, dizziness and blurred vision.
  • There are many common sources of carbon monoxide, including vehicles, furnaces and blocked chimneys. Generators can also be a source, so it’s essential that generators are installed properly, outside and away from any potential point of entry that would allow fumes into your home or business.
  • All homes should have a carbon monoxide detector, particularly if you have a furnace, woodstove, generator or garage. Carbon monoxide detectors are sold at most hardware and home supply stores.

For more information on carbon monoxide, the proper installation and use of detectors, and safety tips, please visit 811 Nova Scotia and the Halifax Professional Firefighters Association.

Step potential hazard

When a live wire makes contact with the ground, the earth becomes energized. The voltage dissipates in circles away from the initial contact point. Never walk or run from a downed powerline—hop or shuffle to safety.

Water and electricity don't mix

Don't attempt to access your electrical panel if there is water in the immediate area. Customers should take every precaution and never come into contact with the water or the panel until power has been disconnected.

Customers should contact our Customer Care Centre at 1-877-428-6004 and request an emergency disconnect of power. Before service can be restored, a certified electrician will need to facilitate the necessary repairs and inspection.

Candles

Candles aren’t recommended for emergency lighting because of the risk of fire.

If you do use candles, make sure you use a proper candle holder, never leave them unattended and keep them away from combustible material, and always have a suitable fire extinguisher in your home.