Preparing for Winter Storms

November 06, 2020

Power Line People working in a bucket on a transmission line.

Quotables: 

  • Our winter weather can damage power lines and poles and cause power outages. 
  • Creating an outage kit that is handy and accessible, even in the dark, will help you stay safe.
  • If you see a downed power line or other public safety issue related to power equipment, please contact our 24-hour Outage Centre at 310-2220.

Environment Canada is predicting severe winter weather across most of the province this weekend, and that’s just the beginning of what can be a long, snowy season in Saskatchewan.

Our winter weather can damage power lines and poles and cause power outages. Frost and snow can look beautiful in photos, but it can cause a lot of damage. Its weight can bring down lines, power poles and cross arms. And when ice builds up on lines and the wind picks up, there’s a risk of the lines bouncing or galloping, adding more stress to the poles and cross arms and causing damage.

Depending on the damage, it can take some time to get the power back on. Our crews will work as quickly and safely as they can to restore service.

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to prepare for this storm season. Creating an outage kit that is handy and accessible, even in the dark, will help you stay safe. Write 310-2220 (the SaskPower Outage Centre) on the outside of the kit and include the following items:

  • Water — at least one gallon for each member of your household, per day.
  • Food — non-perishable, easy to prepare items. Include a manual can opener (or a multi-purpose tool).
  • Flashlights — include extra batteries and make sure the flashlight is functional. Candles can be included but must only be used by adults and never by children. Keep candles away from flammable material (such as curtains).
  • First-aid kit — include essential medications and required medical items. If you have medication that needs to be refrigerated, consult with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage.
  • A battery-powered or hand-crank clock and radio.
  • Blankets and warm clothing.

Being prepared for the cold is also important. Stay warm and safe:

  • Don’t use barbecues, portable generators and propane or kerosene heaters indoors. Burning fuel in unventilated areas produces carbon monoxide, a deadly, odourless gas.
  • Keep a supply of antifreeze on hand to protect plumbing from freezing.
  • Make sure there are plenty of extra warm clothes and blankets around your home.
  • In remote and rural areas, a wood-burning stove or fireplace is the best way to provide heat during a prolonged outage.

If you see a downed power line or other public safety issue related to power equipment, please contact our 24-hour Outage Centre at 310-2220. It is absolutely critical to stay away from any downed power lines. These may appear as if they are not conducting electricity, but they may still be live. If you spot one, stay at least 10 metres away and call our outage line or even 911 so we can make it safe as soon as possible.

You can get the latest information on outages in a number of ways. Follow SaskPower on Twitter, download the SaskPower app to your mobile device, or sign up for text or email notifications at MySaskPower.

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