A power outage is a sudden, unplanned loss of electricity/power. An outage can be caused by inclement weather, vehicle accidents, equipment failures, or any other type of incident that impacts any part of the electrical grid and/or power stations.


Purple background with white text providing immediate actions to take during a power outage

Seek shelter.

Contact Facilities Management and Planning (FMP) at 613-520-3668 or Campus Safety Services at 613-520-4444 or 4444 from any campus phone.

Follow instructions of Carleton officials or emergency personnel.

DO NOT use elevators.

DO NOT light candles.


GET THE APP, GET THE MESSAGE. Download the Carleton Mobile App and enable notifications. This will allow any emergency notification system messages to be delivered right to your phone.

HAVE A READY TO GO BAG. Prepare for a power outage by having a ready-to-go bag packed and up-to-date for your workspace. Make sure your bag is updated with additional clothing, food, water, glow sticks, flashlights and batteries.

KNOW YOUR EXITS. Should an evacuation be ordered for the building, it is good to be familiar with emergency exits, evacuation routes, and safe destination sites.


REMAIN CALM.  Notify Facilities Management and Planning (FMP) at 613-520-3668 or Campus Safety Services at 613-520-4444 or 4444 from any university phone. Just because your building is without power does not mean that people are aware of it. Remain at your workspace unless instructed to leave the building.

FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. Campus Safety Services may order a building evacuation based on the availability of emergency or natural lighting and the expected duration of the power failure. For extended power outages, please follow the instructions from the building authorities or Campus Safety Services.

IN RESIDENCE. If you are in residence, please follow the instructions from Campus Safety Services, Housing and Residence Life.

IF STRANDED IN TOTAL DARKNESS OR REQUIRE ASSISTANCE LEAVING. Remain calm. Do not attempt to leave on your own. Contact Campus Safety Services and they will coordinate a response to assist you.

IF STRANDED IN AN ELEVATOR. Remain calm. Activate the emergency call button on the elevator panel. This is a direct line to Campus Safety Service’s Communication Centre. Notify the Communications Operator of any medical conditions or extenuating circumstances concerning your well-being. Campus Safety Services will coordinate a response to assist you.

IF OUTSIDE OR DRIVING. Look out for any downed power lines, if you come across a downed line – stay at least 10 metres (33 feet) away and alert authorities. Always assume that any downed lines are still live. If power is out at traffic lights, treat as a four-way stop.


REMAIN PATIENT. If your building has been evacuated, do not attempt to re-enter the building until the building authority or Campus Safety Services advises that is safe to do so.

SEEK HELP TO COPE WITH TRAUMA. Consider seeking professional help to cope with the long-term effects of trauma.