Despite our best efforts, sometimes the lights go out. While we work quickly and safely to restore your power, make use of the tips below to stay safe and be prepared for a power outage that affects your farm.
Communication is essential during power outages. Cordless phones or extension phones that require connection to an electric outlet won't work during power outages.
- Keep your veterinarian's phone number handy for any problems with your livestock.
- Keep your electrician's phone number handy for any problems with your emergency and standby power systems.
This may seem too obvious, because of course you have a flashlight. But do you know where it is? Could you find it in the dark? Do you have extra batteries? Rechargeable flashlights and/or emergency lighting can be used effectively to run your operations in the dark or under poor lighting conditions.
Identify any "must-run" equipment and non-essential loads that can be reduced if there is a call to reduce power province-wide. Remember that if everybody reduces their loads during peak periods, the impact on the total system load is significantly lower, helping to reduce the likelihood of outages.
Livestock Protection During a Cold-Weather Outage
Ventilation and heat retention are essential to protecting your livestock. For operations with small numbers of livestock:
- Keep barn doors closed to retain heat.
- Open windows and doors slightly to get some air exchange.
- Ensure livestock is kept in a relatively draft-free area.
- A warming area can be made with straw bales and a plastic tarp to keep out drafts for younger livestock.
Minimize Stress on your Livestock
Each type of farm animal has unique needs during a power outage. Be prepared to minimize the stress on the animals. For example, make sure the standby emergency generator has adequate capacity to run milking machines and ventilation fans.
- Ensure extra feed and water are available.
- Remember that you cannot grind or mix feed or pump water when there is no power.
- Smaller operations can provide a reservoir of water by placing stock tanks or barrels in the barn on straw or shavings to insulate the bottom. Cover the sides and top with bales of straw.
Back up computer files frequently.
Consider buying an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) for critical computers and other equipment. This provides temporary battery backup power to allow you to save data and turn the computer off safely without losing valuable information.
Stay Safe and Up-to-Date
Click below to learn more about current, future, and planned outages, or to find more tips on preparing for an outage.