Power outages

Learn about power outages and what you can do to protect yourself and others.

Power grid alerts

To subscribe to real-time grid alert notifications, see the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) website.


Many of Alberta’s hazards can damage power lines, including:

  • high winds
  • freezing rain
  • flooding
  • extreme heat and cold

Conserving power

There are many things you can do to conserve power. From reducing usage during peak hours, to small changes you can make at home, there are many incentives for reducing your electricity usage.

  • During peak hours

    You can conserve power by limiting your use of electrical appliances and hot water during peak hours, between 4 pm and 7 pm. This includes:

    • not using major appliances such as washers, dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners and space heaters
    • using cold water for washing clothes
    • turning off lights and electrical appliances when not in use
    • cooking with a microwave or toaster oven instead of a stove
    • working on a laptop, which is more energy-efficient than a desktop
    • delaying plugging in block heaters or charging electric cars

    For more details, see AESO.

  • Small ways to help

    There are may small things you can do that can have a big impact on energy consumption over time. This includes:

    • using ceiling fans to circulate air to maintain a consistent temperature, instead of relying on air conditioners and heaters
    • having air conditioners and heating systems serviced and cleaned regularly
    • finding and sealing air leaks around doors and windows
    • using a power bar for multiple appliances so you can turn them all off at once
    • buying energy efficient products

    For more details, see AESO.

  • Incentives for power conservation

    • Conserving power can save you money in the long run.
    • Look for grant opportunities and financial supports to transition to alternative energy sources, such as solar power.
    • Conserving power can help you reduce your carbon footprint.
    • Power outages can be deadly for those reliant.

    For more details, see AESO.

Before an outage

  • What to do

    • Download the Alberta Emergency Alert app for critical, life-saving alerts.
    • Find out where your community will post information and updates during an emergency.
    • Develop and practice a preparedness plan for you and your loved ones.
    • Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with supplies such as food, battery-powered or crank flashlights and radios, along with extra batteries.
    • Store water for your household (including pets) for drinking, cooking and hygiene.
    • Have a backup exit plan if you rely on an elevator.
    • Install a carbon monoxide detector with backup battery power.
      • Have backup power in place for your generator, heat and critical medical equipment. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions when installing backup units, or have them professionally installed.
      • If you have a vehicle, keep the tank full in case fuel stations lose power or close down.
  • Financial preparedness

    • In all emergencies or disasters, you can reduce stress by being financially prepared.
    • Speak to an insurance agent about your specific needs.
    • Know your insurance options and policy limits. Make sure your home, vehicle, business and belongings are protected. Talk to your insurance agent to learn about what is not covered in your insurance policy.
    • If possible, consider an emergency savings account to cover temporary expenses while you are out of your home.
    • If you can, keep emergency cash handy in case banking services are unavailable.
    • If you are evacuated, keep all receipts for additional expenses.
    • Prepare a detailed list of all your belongings. For more information, see Home Inventory.
    • Know the 7 steps for making a home insurance claim. For more information, see Claims Management.
    • The Disaster Recovery Program may provide assistance for uninsurable loss and damage.

    The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is ready to answer your questions. Connect with them by email at [email protected] or by telephone 1-844-227-5422.

During an outage

Outages can leave you without heat, water, lights, air conditioning, information services and vital communication channels. Services such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, banks and ATMs may be closed during an extended outage.

  • What to do

    • If the power is still on in your neighbourhood but not in your home, check your breaker.
    • Call your utility provider to determine if the interruption is widespread or only affecting your property.
    • Leave one light on inside and one light on outside so you and the utility worker will know when power has been restored.
    • Do not use any household appliances that require water.
    • Know when to go. If it is too cold to stay where you are, and it is safe to leave, head to a shelter until it is safe to return.
  • Know the risk

    Extreme heat and cold can have a greater impact on older adults, young children or those with health issues. If you must remain where you are, follow these tips:

    • Head to the lowest level of the building, as it will stay warm longer.
    • Keep doors and blinds closed.
    • Have extra blankets and warm clothes on hand.
    • Use a wood-burning fireplace if you have one.
    • Turn cell phones to battery-saving mode and only use them for emergency calls.
    • Disconnect appliances and electronics.
    • Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed.

    Generators, camp stoves or barbecues do not belong indoors. Gas stoves and ovens are not a safe heat source due to possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Staying informed

    Staying informed during emergencies can save your life. Protect yourself and your loved ones by downloading the Alberta Emergency Alert app to receive critical, life-saving alerts.

    You can also find out more information by contacting your community directly to find out where they post updated information during emergencies.

    Before you travel, check Alberta 511 for current road conditions to help you arrive to your destination safely.

    For weather alert notices for your area, and other locations, see WeatherCAN.

  • Helping others

    Check with your community to learn how to help others during severe weather events. If you are concerned for someone’s safety, call:

    • 211 if someone is in distress or in an unsafe place
    • 911 if they’re unconscious or need medical help

Generators, camp stoves or barbecues do not belong indoors. Gas stoves and ovens are not a safe heat source due to possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

After an outage

Outages can create safety risks and cause property damage. Be aware of the risks and take caution when power and water returns.

  • What to do

    • Do not enter a flooded basement unless you are sure the power is disconnected.
    • Keep yourself, kids and pets away from affected areas in your community.
    • Never use water-damaged appliances, electrical outlets or fuse-breaker panels until they have been checked by a qualified electrician.
    • Check all food for signs of spoilage and damage. When in doubt, throw it out.
    • After 24 hours of no power, all refrigerated medication should be thrown out, unless the label says otherwise.
  • Prevent further damage

    • Unplug appliances and electronics before turning on the main power switch.
    • Allow the power to stabilize and wait 15 minutes before reconnecting tools and appliances.
    • Turn the essentials on first. Start with heat, followed by the refrigerator and freezer.
    • Turn on the main water supply.
    • Make sure the hot water heater is filled before turning it on.
    • Connect with your utility provider for more information.

Resources and translations

Education material you can read, print and download to share online and within your community. Translated versions are also available:


How can you prepare for an outage?

A power or water outage can create dangerous situations. Learn steps you can take to become better prepared.

How can you prepare for an emergency or disaster without spending a lot of money?

Being prepared doesn't have to be costly. Learn how you can prepare without spending a lot of money.


Connect with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-422-9000
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]