Customer Outage Planning Urged
Our peak storm season is upon us, meaning that lightning, wind and trees could combine forces to cause power outages.
Texas-New Mexico Power recommends that customers include power outage plans to accompany their safety plans for tornadoes and thunderstorms.
"We can't predict when, where or how severely storms may cause outages," TNMP President Neal Walker said. "Sometimes smaller storms cause extensive damage to our equipment and big storms barely affect us.
"We do know that the odds of outages are higher when severe storms are forecast, so we urge customers to make plans based on the possibility that power could go out."
Steps Customers Can Take
- Put the power company's phone number in a convenient location.
- For TNMP customers, call 888-866-7456 to report an outage or to hear the latest estimate for when power will be restored.
- Check flashlights or electric lanterns in advance.
- Ensure in advance batteries for flashlights and weather radios are fresh.
- Charge phones, tablets, rechargeable lanterns and hand-held video games in the hours before a storm is expected to arrive.
- Have snacks and drinks ready to go – but not in the refrigerator, which should stay closed while the power is out.
- Confirm the backup plan if someone in the home depends on powered medical equipment.
- Customers also may wish to discuss with children, in advance, what a power outage means, particularly after dark.
How Customers Can Stay Safe
- Avoid using landline phones if there is lightning in the area.
- Teach everyone to stay far away from any downed power lines, regardless of whether power is on in the area.
- Run portable generators outside and well away from any buildings.
- Portable generator owners also should know why they should only power specific appliances – not an entire home or business.
- Staying safe when lightning is around also is important. Tips are available from ready.gov/thunderstorms-lightning
How TNMP Prepares
- We prepare crews for power outage work in areas that are forecasted to be affected by incoming weather. We also have plans for quickly calling in additional crews, if needed.
- Our first focus is on ensuring public and employee safety. Restoration efforts then prioritize fixing damage that is disrupting power for the most number of customers.
- Most power outages are restored within two hours. Significant storm impacts, however, can result in much longer repair and restoration efforts. Finding storm-damaged equipment, particularly after dark, can be time-consuming.
Texas-New Mexico Power is a transmission and distribution service provider that delivers power to about 249,000 homes and businesses on behalf of retail electric providers in Texas. More information is available at tnmp.com/about.
Eric Paul: 409-949-5685