Coping With A Power Outage
What to do when your electricity goes off
Check your circuit breakers or fuses. If you don't already know the location of your main breaker or fuses, it's always a good idea to find out in order to either restore or disconnect your service during any type of electrical emergency on your premises.
Outage Restoration Procedure
How co-ops prioritize repairs after a major storm
Whenever the electricity goes out, we’ve come to expect service will be restored within a few hours at most. But when a major ice storm or tornadoes cause widespread damage, longer outages cannot be helped. Line crews work long, hard hours restoring service, but it’s a task that needs to be done methodically to be done safely.
Here’s a refresher course on how electric cooperatives go about the task of restoring service after severe storms.
Every co-op follows a basic principle when it comes to restoring power: priority goes to the lines that will get the most people back in service the quickest. This usually begins with main lines and continues out to tap lines and then to individual service lines. Exceptions are made for people on life-supporting medical equipment. Notify your co-op immediately if someone in your family uses such equipment, and always have a backup generator ready.
Here's a step-by-step look at power restoration:
A big storm has just hit the countryside! What happens next?
All repairs start with the main line. A large number of consumers down the line will have power returned once the main line is fixed.
Fix Lines into Subdivisions
More Houses and Farms
Another Stretch of Line
Individual Repairs Begin
Electricity is coming to the pole outside the blue home (that happened with the first repair in Step 2), but the service line from the pole to their home is damaged. Repairs like these to individual homes come after crews have performed all the larger fixes.
Finally, all power is restored to the area.
It might also mean tree-trimming crews will be in the area to make sure rights-of-way are clear of overhanging tree branches. Wind and ice storms can topple trees into power lines which account for many of the outages in wooded areas.
When you see the orange diamond-shaped Utility Work Ahead
or similar warning signs along the road, be sure to slow down and give the line crews plenty of room. They might just be working on the power line that powers your home.