Power outages can be caused by severe weather, such as lightning, floods, heatwaves, bushfires or high winds, or by trees contacting powerlines. Animals, car accidents or digging near underground powerlines can also cause interruptions to power.
In most cases, power will be restored quickly, however it can sometimes be longer depending on the nature of the disruption.
With a little bit of knowledge and pre-planning you can minimise the impact of power outages on you and your family.
Before the power goes out – get prepared
Power outages can occur at any time. To prepare, you should have a plan and an emergency kit, which includes:
- Access to a charged mobile phone. Have a mobile battery/power pack or car phone charger that you can use to charge your mobile phone.
- A torch or a battery operated light.
- Alternative cooking facilities such as a BBQ. Keep in mind that some gas appliances may still require electricity to operate them.
- A battery-powered radio. Stay tuned to news services to get updates on weather conditions and power outages. A radio is a valuable source of information if mobile phone towers are damaged during an emergency and you lose mobile phone reception.
- Access to fresh water. If you use electricity to run a water pump, make sure you have an alternative source of fresh water such as bottled water.
- Important contacts. Consider and store important numbers somewhere safe and easy to find in case of a power outage. You can find a list of important telephone numbers here.
- Visit your electricity distributor’s website to learn how your distributor can provide you with information during a power outage. Your electricity distributor may providing information using their website, SMS alerts, mobile apps, social media or email.
Consider your needs and your family’s needs. More information on taking care of your family, including care of young children in an emergency go to the Better Health Channel.
If you or someone in your home are dependent on power due to medical or special needs you should:
- Contact your electricity retailer (the company you pay for your electricity) and tell them about your needs. Make sure they have your up-to-date contact details.
- If you rely on power dependent devices, for example a medical alert device, it is recommended that you contact your device provider about the operation of your device during a power outage.
- More information is available at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning – Safety and emergencies page.
If you have solar panels, be aware that your power will still go out unless you have a battery storage system set up for off-grid operations.
For more information or if you'd like this information in another language, please visit the Power Outage page on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.