Chances are you’re looking at this article because you either just experienced a power outage, or because you’re in the middle of one trying to figure out what to do. Are we right? Well, electricity is one of those things we tend to take for granted and we only notice it when it’s not there.
Did you know that last year the number of power outages across the States increased by 73% compared to 2019? According to data from SP Global, the extreme weather conditions caused major impacts on the electric grid last year. Check out these 5 things you should remember about them:
1. Understand the types of a power outage
A power outage, often known as a sudden loss of electricity, may harm everything you do. Its effects are different and depend on how long it lasts, but, in general, it will impede from working to cooking to performing most of our regular activities. Let’s look at the most common types of it:
It means there is no electricity in your area. In most places, the power infrastructure is strong, built to withstand physical elements and human mistakes that may shut down the system. While this works most of the time, the system occasionally malfunctions and the power goes off, causing these blackouts. The main key about them is that they’re sudden and they are often caused by natural causes, human mistakes, or overload.
They happen suddenly and mean a brief interruption in the delivery of electricity. You may notice that the lights dim or that certain electrical equipment stops working.
- Rolling Blackouts:
These are outages that occur when there is an excess of demand on the electrical grid and insufficient supply. They are scheduled. To compensate for the energy deficit, power providers would cut electricity to one section of the grid to ensure that the remainder of the network does not go offline. When this happens, customers are typically notified in advance, and ideally, it doesn’t stay long.
Ps. This one is largely related to the peak demand and the baseload energy generation.
When the reason for an outage is extreme weather conditions, the US Energy Department collaborates with federal, state, and local authorities to assist coordinate the response to restore power as fast and effectively as possible. If that’s the case, you can also find updates on the number of outages and the level of damage to electrical infrastructure.
2. Is it only you?
When you face a power outage the first reaction must be to check if it’s only your situation. First and foremost, you should check your circuit breaker to ensure that the outage isn’t caused by an overloaded circuit. Something they all have in common is that the outage is caused by the electrical supplier rather and not by something inside the house.
If a home is without power while the rest of the neighborhood has power, the cause is most likely a tripped circuit breaker or another household issue. Take a glance out the window if you can, to see whether you can see your neighbor’s house. If it looks to be powerless, you may have just had a power outage.
3. How long does a power outage last?
To give you a brief answer, they can vary from minutes to weeks. Depending on the circumstances, utility companies may have to put in a lot of effort to turn the lights back on. In the event of a weather or natural disaster, there may be a significant amount of cleanup or safety problems to address before things can be brought back online. Damaged infrastructure may be difficult to reach because of flooding or other dangers.
Utilities strive to restore service to as many customers as soon as possible. But remember, the priority is always public health and safety, which includes taking care of public services such as hospitals, police agencies, fire departments, and water treatment plants. Power providers may then concentrate on turning on the lights for homeowners like you.
4. Who should I call?
This is a quite common question, especially when you live in energy deregulated states. The answer regardless of your situation and provider will always be the same: in case of a power outage, you must report it to the Utility Company. Your utility company is the one that owns the meters, wires, and poles. Therefore, you will need to contact their outage reporting number or another contact number.
So next time you face one, remember that even if you switch suppliers because you want to have a better rate, or if you would just like to take advantage of the cool rewards a new supplier has to offer, remember they’re not responsible for the delivery of the energy to you. You have the power to choose who supplies your energy, but the distributor will always remain the same.
Ps. Check out our FAQs to learn more about energy suppliers change.
5. How can you prepare for them?
We bet you have heard the saying that goes “better safe than sorry”, right? Well, this is one of those cases. Prepare this checklist so you can be ready to face one power outage:
Prepare an extra battery or power banks
Since you don’t know how long this power outage will last, you better plan for batteries and other alternative options like power banks. Keep your laptops and cell phones charged, as well as a radio and additional batteries on hand to listen for directions from local officials if the power goes out.
Keep spare batteries and a vehicle charger on hand for your mobile devices. This will allow you to keep up with news headlines and use your phone to communicate with friends and family. If you change your gadgets in your car, make sure it’s in a well-ventilated area.
Create a power outage kit
It may appear like lighting candles is the greatest solution, but this is not the case. If you have children or dogs, you know how clumsy they can be, and the last thing you want to be doing is putting out a fire in your house during a power outage! Instead, keep flashlights in strategic locations throughout the house and check them regularly to ensure the batteries work.
You can also include a list of emergency, family, and work contact information. If your phone battery fails, you may call a landline to check on friends and family. Include hospitals, shelters, libraries, and all those places that have a power generator.
A battery-powered radio is also essential. A radio will tune you into local weather and emergency bulletins. Look for NOAA Weather Radios, which connect you to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 24-hour national weather service.
Consult your doctors about a power outage strategy for electrically powered medical equipment and refrigerated medications. Learn how medicine can be stored at higher temperatures and get particular advice for any prescriptions that are lifesaving.
Whether you reside in a natural disaster zone, you and your family must know what to do in the event of a power outage. Not only do strong hurricanes leave us in the dark. Homes can lose power at any time due to strong thunderstorms and downed power lines. Natural catastrophes and storms may strike when you least expect them. That is why preparation is key.
These simple -yet important- things are critical to keeping you and your loved ones safe. At Click2Power, we want to show you that electricity is a potent source that deserves our attention and respect—it goes from powering your gadgets to lighting your home. And now you can make a choice! If you have more tips or things, you should remember share them with us in the comment section, we would love to hear from you! If you have any doubts, you can contact us. We will be delighted to answer all your questions.