Smarter Power > Resilience

Restoring power after a major event

As a lifeline utility, it’s important we’re prepared for any sort of emergency that might disrupt your power supply.

Watch our video to learn about how we’ll restore power following a major event like a large earthquake or cyclone.

Creating a power outage kit is one way of preparing for a major event.

This might be part of a more general ‘grab bag’ and should include things like:

  • a charged mobile phone and power bank device
  • a torch (separate, otherwise it will drain your phone’s battery)
  • a portable radio (to listen out for updates if cell towers are down)
  • some spare batteries (for your torch and radio)
  • warm clothes and blankets/bedding
  • water and non-perishable food.

During a prolonged outage, make sure you eat any perishable foods first. Without power, food will generally keep refrigerated for 2-4 hours and will stay frozen for up to 24 hours, as long as you keep the fridge and freezer door shut. If anything doesn’t smell right, throw it away.

⚠️ If you’re medically dependent, make sure you have an emergency response plan in place and let your electricity retailer know. If a power outage occurs, contact your health practitioner for help or call 111 in an emergency.
Make sure you also have a backup plan for any pets relying on power, like tropical fish. MPI provides a checklist for protecting pets in emergencies.

Safety first

If you're without power following an earthquake or other natural disaster:

  • Check on your neighbours if you can – particularly if they’re elderly or otherwise vulnerable.

  • Don’t use candles due to the risk of fire.

  • Never use a generator indoors due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire.

  • You can continue to use any gas-powered appliances as long as you do so safely, although gas pipes could be damaged following an earthquake. Never use barbeques or portable cookers/camping stoves inside.

Smell gas? If it's safe to do so, ventilate your home and turn off the gas supply valve at your gas meter (outside the building). Stay outside and phone Powerco on 0800 111 848 or call 111 in an emergency. Avoid trying to use electricity, matches, or cigarettes. 


Find out more about unplanned outages

For more information about preparing for an emergency, visit (external site).

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