With another winter storm on the way, hydro companies are preparing for the worst.
Tuesday's winter storm is expected to bring freezing rain and high winds, both of which are the two worst conditions for hydro companies to face.
"It is not as much the build up on equipment but the build up on trees," Jeff Quint, Manager of Energy Conservation & Corporate Communications for Waterloo North Hydro told KitchenerToday with Brian Bourke on 570 NEWS. "Generally the outage is caused by tree limbs contacting the lines and taking the lines down. The equipment itself is very robust and generally the ice doesn't cause an issue itself."
If you come across a down power line Quint says your safest option is to stay approximately 10 meters away and to inform the hydro company and even police.
"Treat every situation as if power lines are live. You have no idea if they are or they are not so treat it as a live situation and stay back. It's definitely something you don't want to mess with."
If winter weather does impact local electricity, there are tools available online that can help keep the public informed.
"It certainly provides people the information they need to see. It provides the media with information they need to see...So we've seen the need for it and the desire for it grow and it's been an extremely helpful tool at informing people. Often they don't even call in if they can see the power outage on the map."