After power goes out, utility companies and government officials will first work to restore power to critical infrastructure like power plants and transmission lines, water treatment facilities, and telecommunications networks, and also to hospitals, critical care facilities, and emergency response agencies. It may take several days or even weeks to restore power to individual homeowners.
Know the Terms
Safety Disconnect: An electronic (automatic or manual) switch that disconnects one circuit from another circuit. These are used to isolate power generation or storage equipment from conditions such as voltage spikes or “surges”, thus avoiding potential damage to equipment.
Starting Surge: Power, often above an appliance’s rated wattage, required to bring any appliance with a motor up to operating speed.
Blackout: A complete interruption of power in a given service area.
Rolling Blackouts: When electric companies shut down power to an area for a certain amount of time in order to avoid a total blackout of the power system.
Brownout: A partial and temporary reduction in system voltage or total system capacity.
Electric Grid: The network that gets power from the power company to the consumer. It consists of power stations, transmission lines, and transformers.
Electric Conservation: Using less energy by turning off lights or the TV, walking, or biking instead of driving a car.
Actions to Consider
Things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property from the effects of a power outage:
If a prolonged period of power outage were to occur, these are actions you can take to protect yourself, family, and property:
Guidelines for the period following a power outage: