Utility Failure Procedures

Created: November 2018
Last Updated: May 17, 2021

A power outage is a short or long-term loss of electric power to an area. During an extended power outage, you may be without light, heat, internet, and/or hot water. Most power outages will be over right away, but some can last much longer – up to days or even weeks. Power outages are often caused by freezing rain, sleet storms and/or high winds which damage power lines and equipment. Cold snaps or heat waves can also overload the electric power system.

Power outages are the most common type of utility failure. Other types may include loss of water flowing into buildings and internet outages.

Localized Power Outage Procedure

If power is lost in a localized area:

  1. Carefully exit the impacted area

  2. If safe to do so, secure any equipment or materials you are working with before leaving the area (i.e. unplug electrical equipment and turn off computers)

  3. Follow the directions of staff to get to the appropriate exit

  4. Convene in the designated meeting area for evacuations and await further instructions from staff

Building-Wide Utility Failure Procedure

Programs will continue if there is a temporary power outage. If a utility failure results in a prolonged loss of access to heat or water, participants and staff not in residence at the affected site will be sent home. Participants and staff housed on-site will be taken to an emergency shelter location under the supervision of the Director of Operations or their designate.


Report urgent maintenance requests by phone to the Director of Operations or their designate.