by the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
Food – Now that power has been restored it is important to remember that if your power came back on overnight your food temperatures may be satisfactory however this does not mean that perishable food is safe to eat. Be sure to discard perishable food that has been sitting in the temperature danger zone (above 4oC/40oF) for more than 2 hours. When in doubt, throw it out! (https://healthunit.org/wp-content/uploads/What_Do_I_Save_What_Do_I_Throw_Away_When_Power_Is_Out.pdf) For more information on food safety please visit Food Safety – Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
Discarding Food – Be sure to discard food in manner that will not attract pests to your home. Food should be contained until either picked up by a waste disposal company or taken a to municipal waste disposal location. Contact your local municipality to enquire about waste disposal times and locations.
Cleaning Appliances – After discarding food it is important to clean and sanitize surfaces that spoiled food has come into contact with including inside of your freezer, refrigerators and even counter tops. Surfaces should be cleaned with warm water and soap prior to sanitizing. Sanitizers should be used following the manufacture’s instruction found on the label.
Well Water – Wells that rely on treatment systems may not be working so use an alternate source of water or boil water before consuming (boil for one minute then cool). Now that the power is being restored, ensure the treatment system is working properly. Flush the lines and take a sample to make sure your well water is safe to drink. Drinking Water Precautions – Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
Basements – Do not enter a flooded basement unless you are sure the power is disconnected. Flooded appliances, electrical outlets, switch boxes or fuse-breaker panels should not be used until they have been checked and cleaned by a qualified electrician. If you have had flooding in your basement because your sump pump wasn’t working during the power outage it is important to dry and clean the area to prevent mould growth. For more information about cleaning up after a flood please visit Flood Cleanup and Mould Prevention | CMHC (cmhc-schl.gc.ca)
Septic Systems – If your septic system has electrical components such as a holding tank alarm or a pump chamber ensure that electricity has been properly restored to these devices to prevent sewage overflows and back-ups.
Generators – If you are still using a generator ensure that it is located in a well-ventilated area to prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas that affects the red blood cells ability to carry oxygen and blocks the absorption of oxygen to the bloodstream. For more information about Carbon Monoxide please see our fact sheet at carbon_monoxide.pdf (healthunit.org)
If you are a resident of Lanark County, living on a low income, and would like support to cope with the power outage, contact Lanark Social Services at 1-888-952-6275 – ext 2190.