Lightening strike over power pole

Power outages

Damage to the electricity network can cause power outages. If you've lost power following severe weather that's likely the cause, but it could also be due to third party contact and damage to electricity assets such as an underground cable strike or a car crashing into a power pole.
Extreme weather can cause damage to the electricity network, disrupting the supply of power to homes and businesses.

Life Support Customers

If you rely on electricity for your life support equipment, make sure you register your details with your electricity retailer and local electricity distributor. It's important you can be contacted, as a priority, if there are any issues with your electricity supply, especially in the event of a power outage.

Unplanned power outages are exactly that - unintentional and unexpected. That's why you need an action plan (Plan B) detailing what to do if you find yourself without power for extended periods.

What to do if you don't have power

  1. Check if it is only you
    Look to see if other lights and electrical equipment in your home are working, or if there's damage outside such as fallen powerlines or debris that's cut power to the street.
  2. Check your electricity meter box
    If your neighbours or the street has power, and it's just your home that has lost power, check your electricity meter box.
  3. Check your electricity distributor
    Check your electricity distributor's website to ensure they are aware the power is out in your area, and if not report it to them. You may also be able to follow them on social media or check back to their website for updates.

Extended power outages

Unfortunately, extended power outages can happen from time to time. Here’s what you can do when that happens:

  • Leave one light switched on so you will know as soon as the power has been restored.
  • Tune into your local radio station with a battery-operated radio or the car radio for power restoration update. Your local ABC radio frequency is a great station to keep updated with emergency broadcasts. Look up your local frequency
  • Follow your local electricity distributor on their social media to get power restoration updates.
  • Assist your neighbours where possible, but remember that safety always comes first.
  • Avoid opening the fridge or freezer door – make a note of the time you lost power so you can gauge if the food in your fridge is safe to consume.

The NSW Food Authority advises if power is out for more than 4 hours, food in fridges can spoil. Keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible during a power outage. Freezers will usually not defrost and preserve food for at least 24 hours, provided the door has been kept shut.

Generator safety

Generators should be used with extreme caution. Only use generators to power appliances which are directly plugged into them. Do not connect the output to the house switchboard or wiring as this can cause a safety risk for those working to repair the electricity network and emergency volunteers such as SES workers.

In an emergency call 000

your electricity distributor

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Check your electricity distributor's website or social media for updates on power outages.
Electricity distributors in Australia have resources including outage maps that can be accessed online. Many also give live updates via social media.
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Contact your electricity distributor to report fallen wires or damaged poles and powerlines.
If you notice an electrical hazard, report it to your electricity distributor immediately, either online or by phone.