Transpower makes every effort to minimise disruption to communities when doing required work on our substations and lines. However there are times when a power outage is unavoidable. This is to ensure work can be completed safely by our people.
The information below is provided to assist people in preparing for a power outage. Even if there are no planned outages in your community, you should spend some time preparing for unplanned outages, which can happen at any time.
If you are affected by a planned outage you will receive notification from your electricity retailer.
More information on specific outages is available on our Facebook page.
Preparing for a power outage
When a power outage strikes, planned or unplanned, making sure you’ve prepared properly is essential.
Here are some tips and advice to help you plan for an outage.
- Ensure you have an emergency kit in place: This should include items like torches, battery-operated radios, candles, a first aid kit, cash and fuel and a list of important phone numbers. Make sure everyone in your household knows where these are kept and they are in easy reach in case of an emergency. The Get Ready website has helpful information for preparing for all sorts of emergencies that could result in a loss of power.
- Consider your water supply. Make sure you have a good supply of drinking water. If you live rurally and your water supply pump relies on power, make sure you’ve got spare, clean water to drink and wash with, as well as enough water to fill and flush your toilet.
- Plan your day and your meals. If you know an outage is coming, plan and prepare meals in advance. Consider how you might spend the day - is it a good time to visit family or friends who are not affected by the power outage?
- You can still cook and boil water using a BBQ during a power outage, so ensure you have sufficient gas or charcoal to run your BBQ.
- Keep your fridge/freezer doors shut! Food can last up to 24 hours in modern fridge/freezer units, so keeping them closed during an outage means your food remains cold and can last through the outage.
- If you or someone in your household is dependent on medical equipment, get in contact with your power company and make sure they are aware of this dependency. Talk with your health care professional about extra battery supply. Make sure all batteries are fully charged in advance of a planned outage.
- Charge your phone and all important devices. Ensure you have enough juice left in your mobile and battery-powered devices to last through planned power outages. Consider a mobile power pack for emergencies or a second phone battery that you also keep charged. Many portable jump-start kits kept in vehicles can be used to power mobile devices.
- Consider transport. Garage doors and electric gates powered by electricity will not work during a power outage, so ensuring you’ve prepared by opening or overriding them can be essential. Check that your vehicle has sufficient fuel before an outage is also important, as petrol stations also rely on electricity to power pumps.
- Consider surge protectors on devices around the house, especially power-sensitive devices like TVs, sound systems and desktop computers. Ensuring you’ve disconnected these devices before the planned outage can keep the devices’ batteries in better shape too.
- Stay connected! Make sure everyone in the house knows the national emergency numbers (111 for emergencies, 105 for non-emergencies), as well as the local fault phone numbers for reporting power outages and potential hazards. Staying connected on social media with your power company and power distributors can also provide important information on the status of your power and when it should be back online.
At all times Treat all power lines, equipment and points of connectivity as live. Stay away from live power lines where possible, especially when there is maintenance being conducted.
Managing a power outage on a farm
DairyNZ provides helpful information for dairy farmers regarding on-farm management of power outages and adverse events, including information on missed milkings, heat stress and smart water use. Other factors to think about for livestock are:
- Where possible, plan ahead so that cows have access to shade or shelter and drinking water during the day.
- If stock water is not gravity fed on your farm and you do not have the ability to use a generator, consider a temporary water tank, drum or barrel on the back of a vehicle or placed at a high point to provide drinking water.
- Try milking early enough so that cows can access drinking water prior to the power being switched off.
If afternoon milking is not possible consider skipping the afternoon milking just for this day, to limit heat stress through movement and milk production. Talk to your vet about skipping a milking, as there are some easy actions which may prevent any mastitis or Facial Eczema concerns.