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Preparing for a power outage

Make sure you are well prepared for a power outage

It’s important that you and your whānau plan ahead to keep safe during power outages. These may be unplanned, or the result of unplanned outages, such as cars hitting power poles or storms. Here’s some advice to help you and your family, friends and neighbours prepare and keep safe during storms or other situations that may affect your power supply.

What do I need to prepare for an emergency?

It’s important to ensure that you’re prepared for storms or other situations that may affect your power supply while you’re at home. We recommend you have an emergency survival kit at your home and place of business, including a flashlight, batteries and a first aid kit. Civil Defence have some great guidelines on how to prepare for an emergency.

Before a storm arrives, we recommend you pack away garden furniture, tie down trampolines away, and put away any loose items such as tarpaulins, as these all have the potential to be hazardous during the storm.

Keep an eye on trees around power lines – we strongly encourage you to stay on top of maintenance for any trees and vegetation that may come into contact with overhead power lines during bad weather.

What should I do before a power outage?

  • Ensure you have enough drinking water to last three days. Fill buckets and baths (if you have one) for washing and toilet flushing
  • Keep your mobile phone charged. Make sure you have a car charger for your devices to ensure you can keep in touch and keep informed
  • Be aware that your internet is likely to also be disconnected without power
  • Turn off sensitive electronic equipment and unplug from the power sockets to protect from possible power surges
  • Have a torch handy (it’s safer than candles which can be a fire hazard)
  • Check you have gas for your BBQ to use for cooking
  • If you have an automatic garage door opener, please park your car outside prior to the outage. Learn how to operate these manually if possible

What should I do during a power outage?

  • Stay at least EIGHT metres away from damaged power lines or electrical equipment
  • Check our outages page for regular updates. We refresh our website outages information at least half hourly, so if you can’t see your outage please check again in a few minutes
  • Check our regularly updated Facebook page with the latest information about outages
  • Alternatively phone us but please be aware that during widespread outages our call centre experiences high call volumes, so you may be placed in a queue to speak to an operator. We appreciate your patience
  • If you or someone in your whānau (family) is medically dependent on power, please arrange to get to a hospital or other place that is safe
  • Turn off sensitive electronic equipment and unplug from the power sockets to protect from possible power surges
  • Don’t open your fridge or freezer unless it’s necessary – they’ll stay cold for much longer if kept closed
  • If you go out be aware that street and traffic lights may not be working

How long will the power be out for?

Our priority is always safety of the public and our people, who work hard to get the power back on as soon as possible. Some outages will last longer than others.

Unplanned outages can last longer if:

  • it’s dark or the conditions are too dangerous for our people to work in (such as high winds)
  • physical access to the fault is limited
  • a storm has caused damage in multiple areas
  • the damage is severe, so we need to prioritise where we restore critical power supplies first


During outages we aim to add estimated restoration times to our online outage map, so check there first for details. Please remember to treat all power lines as live at all times and stay clear!

How do I know when to call Northpower?

Before reporting a fault be sure to check:

  • have the fuses or circuit breakers on your switchboard tripped?
  • does your neighbour have power? If they don’t then there may be a network fault. If they do, the fault may be in your internal wiring or service line
  • check our outages map for any current outages
  • if your hot water or oven isn’t working or only some power points, it can be a fault with the supply to your home, or we may be controlling the hot water load during times of peak demand. Please call us to check if there is a fault affecting your home.

Who pays for any repairs?

You will be liable for any repair costs if the fault is on your service line. You will generally be responsible for any damage you caues to the Northpower network.

Keep safe around our networks

Visit our safety hub to learn about how to keep safe around our networks while at home, doing the mahi (work), or out and about in beautiful Northland.