Sunday, October 3, 2010

Power Outage

We're heading in the season that brings more storms and colder weather to the country — just the kind of conditions that result in trees losing limbs (or toppling) during high wind or heavy snow load.  When that happens, power lines can be brought down, so it's time to consider what you would do during a power outage.

We'll explore this subject in greater detail as the season progresses, but for now I just want to pass along to you one tip that I received from our local utility company. During a power outage, the crews are out night and day trying to restore power as fast as they can. While you're snuggling in your home, trying to stay warm and safe, those folks are out in the screaming storm, cold, wet, exhausted, and working in dangerous conditions. So we owe it to them to do as much as possible to make their job easier.

One of the things we can do is alert them that power has been restored to our home. We don't have to make a phone call to do this — just leave an exterior light switched on so that when the power is restored the light will come on and let the power crew know that electricity is coming to your house.

For yourself, leave one light switched on inside so you'll know when the power is on again. Of course, if your digital clock on the stove (or elsewhere in the house) starts blinking, you'll know the power is back on.

During a power outage, the utility company recommends that you turn off all appliances and heaters. When power is restored, it takes a little while for everything to stabilize, so the recommendation is to wait 15 minutes after power restoration before turning on electric furnaces or heaters, and major appliances.

1 comment:

  1. As I understand it, if folks leave everything on when the power is suddenly restored to hundreds of homes it can cause a strain on the system and maybe knock it down again.

    Also, as I understand it, if you want to live in an area where the power restoration has the highest priority you should live close to a hospital.

    I can get by for weeks with the grid down and think little of it but most folks have trouble dealing with that.