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Understanding Power Outages

While CEC does everything it can to reduce the possibility of outages to your home or business, they do occur. There are a variety of reasons power outages can occur, including severe storms causing mass destruction, tree limbs coming into contact with power lines, vehicles crashing into utility poles, and animals such as squirrels causing short circuits while climbing electrical equipment.


Whatever the reason, rest assured CEC is working as fast as it can to get your power restored quickly and safely. While each utility has its own system for restoring power during an outage, many of the following steps will be similar from utility to utility.


The number one focus for CEC is public safety. This means crews will clear lines and equipment that could pose safety hazards to the public. Next, it will turn its attention to power generation facilities that generate the actual electricity that powers your home or business. After that come transmission line and substation equipment repairs. Then, CEC will focus on feeder lines that can serve one to 3,000 customers, tap lines that provide power to 20 to 30 homes or businesses, and then connections to individual customers.


During this process, utilities will generally first make repairs to facilities that are critical to public health and safety—like hospitals, police and fire stations, water treatment plants, and communication systems. How long it takes to get your power restored depends on the extent of the storm’s destruction, the number of outages, and when it becomes safe for utility personnel to get to the damaged areas.


Whether long or short, it pays to know what to do when the power goes out so you can keep your family safe. CEC suggests you:
 

  • Call CEC to report the outage (800-282-8610).
     
  • Use safe alternative food preparations. A barbecue grill is an excellent way to prepare food. Always grill outside.
     
  • Have a storm kit (with items like flashlights, battery-operated radio, batteries, and first-aid supplies) prepared for use during power outages.
     
  • Turn off electrical appliances and unplug major electronics, including computers and televisions. Power sometimes comes back in surges, which can damage electronics. Your circuits could overload when power returns if all your electronics are still plugged in and on. Leave one light on to indicate that power has been restored. Wait a few minutes and then turn on other appliances and equipment—one at a time.

 

Click here to learn more about how power outages are restored. 

 

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