How Power is Restored After a Severe Storm Presented by YOUR NAME YOUR TITLE
No matter what form a storm takes, severe weather often causes power outages. Hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes…
Why do storms trigger outages? The major cause of power outages is damage to poles and lines caused by fallen trees or branches. High winds or heavy layers of ice can weigh down and break tree limbs. We work throughout the year to combat this problem. Your electric cooperative has an ongoing right-of-way maintenance program to manage vegetation posing a threat to power lines.
Restoring power after a major outage is a BIG job—involving much more than throwing a switch or removing a tree from a line. Despite our best efforts, some damage can’t be avoided.
Employees or response services use every available phone line to receive your outage reports. Thanks for being patient!
Here’s how it works… Ever wonder how we decide where to fix things first?
Electricity is like a river in reverse…..then flows into small service lines (tap lines) to homes and businesses. …diverges into a series of transmission lines and substations… We have to fix the big problems (transmission lines, substations) first before power can flow to your home! The flow starts with an ocean of power … (generation plants)
Clearing the path Transmission lines and cables supply power to transmission substations. These lines rarely fail, but can be damaged by a hurricane or tornado. Tens of thousands of people are served by each high-voltage transmission line. When damage occurs, these facilities must be repaired FIRST before other parts of the system can operate.
Middle men A co-op may have several distribution substations, each serving thousands of consumers. If the problem can be corrected at the substation level, power may be restored to a large number of people. Next, local distribution substations are checked. Line crews inspect substations to determine if problems stem from transmission lines feeding into the substation, or if problems exist down the line.
Middle men When power is restored at this stage, all consumers served by this supply line could see the lights come on, as long as there is no problem farther down the line. If the problem cannot be isolated at a distribution substation, main distribution lines are checked. These systems carry power to large groups of consumers in communities or housing developments.
Closer to home… If localized outages persist, service lines, also called tap lines, are inspected. These lines carry power to utility poles or underground transformers outside businesses, schools, and homes. Line crews fix the remaining outages based on restoring service to the greatest number of consumers.
Closer to home… Your co-op needs to know you have an isolated outage, so a service crew can repair it! Sometimes, damage occurs on the service line between your house and the transformer on the nearby pole. This may explain why you don’t have power when your neighbor does.
We can only go so far. You (not the co-op) are responsible for damage to the service installation on the building. Your co-op can’t fix this. Call a licensed electrician.
Priority: life-support systems Individual households may receive special attention if loss of electricity affects life support systems or poses another immediate danger. If you or a family member depends on life support, call your local electric cooperative BEFORE an emergency arises. Documentation from your doctor may be required.
Stay safe! After a severe storm, broken power lines may land on the ground or in roadways. Stay away from all fallen power lines and report them to your co-op. Electricity could still be flowing through the lines.
Stay safe! If an outage lasts longer than two hours, start thinking about perishable food. Throw away food that’s been exposed to temperatures above 40° F for two hours or more. An unopened refrigerator keeps food cold for about four hours, while food in a full freezer stays safe for about 48 hours. Source: American Red Cross
Stay safe! If using a portable generator, connect equipment you want to power directly into outlets on the generator with a properly rated extension cord or have a licensed electrician install the equipment necessary to safely connect emergency generators. Otherwise lineworkers’ lives could be put in danger from the generator’s power backfeeding onto electric lines NEVER operate a generator inside your home—there’s a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning)
Before the storm… Store a few basic items in your home: – Three-day supply of water, one gallon per person per day. – Three-day supply of non-perishable, high-energy food – Tools: Radio, can opener, flashlights, extra batteries, hand sanitizer, and first aid supplies. – A week’s supply of medications. – Copies of important documents—birth certificates, passports, and insurance policies. – Customize your kit with family photos, candy, and games. For more ideas, visit redcross.org/domore redcross.org/domore
Questions? YOUR NAME Your Title, Name of Your Electric Cooperative Email Address Phone number (if desired)