Stay healthy during interruption to utilities

Interruption to power and water in your area may pose a risk to your health and safety.  The SA State Emergency Service advises that there are a few simple measures that can be taken to minimise the effects.

If there is a power outage in your area that is likely to be short term:


  • Keep medications requiring refrigeration in a fridge, but wrap them in foil or a heat repellent container with an icepack ready to place with them if the power goes off
  • Keep mobile phones, tablets/iPads, laptops/computers charged so they are still able to be used during an outage
  • Have a battery, solar or wind-up powered torch and radio available and spare batteries
  • Cool the house and maintain a seal to keep temperatures to a minimum

During the outage

  • Stay hydrated – drink water regularly
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed to retain the cool in your home
  • Pull down the outdoor shading of your home
  • Use a wet cloth or flannel, spray or ice pack to cool down
  • Take a cold bath or shower
  • Limit the number of times you open the refrigerator and freezer
  • Limit use of your oven and stove if possible
  • If there is a cool breeze at night, open up your house to help it to cool
  • Consider using a battery operated personal fan
  • Ensure you are able to remove your car from your garage which has an electrically operated door
  • Check that electrical appliances such as stoves and heaters are switched off as there is a risk of fire when electricity supply is restored if these appliances are left unattended
  • Keep pets inside or in a cool place with ample water
  • Take extra care if driving at night as street lights and traffic lights may not be operating
  • In buildings with lifts take notice of the advice provided in case of power failure, or if you get stuck, follow the procedure for contacting authorities outlined on the lift controls
  • Make sure all taps are turned off if you use an electrical pressure pump. This will prevent flooding if supply is restored when you are not home
  • After power comes back on following a prolonged outage, be careful eating food products usually stored in the fridge or freezer that may have been damaged by loss of cold storage

For longer term outages:

  • If water supply is from tanks or a bore, alternatives to the normal electrical pressure pump should be investigated
  • Ensure your car is topped up with fuel in case fuel bowsers are not operable
  • Ensure you have sufficient cash on hand in case ATM and credit facilities are not available
  • If you have all-electric cooking facilities consider purchasing a small gas powered camping stove to heat food/water
  • If your home has an electric hot water system and you keep using it, the water will go cold. Consider this if you anticipate a long wait before power is restored


If there is an interruption to water supply to your home/area:


  • Fill bottles/jugs of drinking water or purchase emergency cask water and keep in a cool, dark place
  • Fill your bath (supervise young children) and other containers with water

During the interruption to your water supply

  • Limit the use of water for non-essential uses
  • Use stored water to flush toilet – only when necessary
  • Continue to use wet towels, flannels and sprays to keep cool
  • Your bathroom may be the coolest part of your home
  • Check on family, friends and neighbours and assist them where possible
  • Stay hydrated and limit caffeine and alcohol intake