Power Outages: Think, Plan, React.

It is well known that severe weather brings the potential for power outages. But lately, it seems that power outages are occurring more frequently and lasting longer.  Society‚Äôs ever-growing need for energy has placed greater demand on the electricity grid that is already strained.  This means that any disruption of electrical transmission has a greater impact.  So, too, has the fire company seen an increase in requests from the public during times of power disruption.

The fire company keeps a supply of emergency generators that are ready to deploy for true emergencies.  While we take pride in being able to serve our community in times of need, we must prioritize the use of these resources when the demand is high.  Our cache of equipment can only go so far.

Think

Property owners must think about their own needs to determine what impact a power outage would have on residents or patrons.  Carefully consider which power needs are life-sustaining and which power needs are merely for convenience.  For example, any citizens that rely on medical equipment (such as home oxygen pumps) should have standalone oxygen cylinders available for short term power outages and backup power devices available for extended outages.

Sump pumps require electricity as well. A power outage during a period of heavy rainfall could result in significant property damage if a sump pump is inoperable. A small investment in a backup power supply for your sump pump could save thousands of dollars in flood damage.

Plan

Preparation is the key to weathering any storm. Make time to create a power outage plan.  Set a goal to be self-sustaining for 48-72 hours without power. Each consideration in a power outage plan must place safety as the primary objective.  Be sure that any backup power system is designed and rated for its intended use.  Never overload a generator, backup battery, or circuit, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

React

When severe weather is in the forecast, take proactive measures to be ready for a power outage: charge mobile phones, check operation of backup power equipment, and have working flashlights at the ready.  If power disruption occurs, implement the measures of your power outage plan as needed.

Being prepared can offer peace of mind knowing you will not have to rely on outside assistance. A few small preparations can ease the inconveniences that power outages can bring. Think, plan, react, and be safe!