Hurricane Season: Have Plan for Long Power Outages
Texas-New Mexico Power is implementing its annual planning for the effect of potential tropical storms and hurricanes and encourages its customers to review their own plans.
Tropical storms and hurricanes can cause extensive damage to power systems, resulting in power outages that can last days or weeks. Being prepared to go without power at home or in businesses – or just staying evacuated – for that period of time is strongly advised.
"We certainly hope this is another year that is free from a hurricane," TNMP President Neal Walker said. "But all of us have to assume that there's another storm coming at some point and that we need to be prepared for it."
Tips for customers
- Customers on life support should take appropriate measures to ensure their safety in the case of a long-term power outage.
- Those customers are encouraged to consider relocating in advance of the hurricane in order to avoid power interruption.
- Avoid all downed lines.
- Assume any line on the ground is energized – and dangerous – and remain a safe distance away.
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings the day before the storm to keep food fresh in the event of a power outage.
- According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about four hours if unopened. A freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-full).
- Electric garage doors won't open if the power is out. Be sure to have a door key so you can re-enter after an evacuation.
- Check that emergency equipment such as flashlights, battery-operated radios and backup generators are in working order.
- Portable generator owners should review product directions to ensure safe operation, including operating only individual appliances directly and not trying to power entire homes.
Before the storm, we monitor weather forecasts, communicate with our mutual assistance partners to ensure they are on standby and have several staging sites prepared for them.
After a severe storm, TNMP makes aerial and ground assessments of our equipment to ensure the right resources are available, such as the number of crews and materials needed to repair damaged equipment.
The highest restoration priorities will be locations like water treatment plants, sewer lift stations and police and fire stations. Priority is given to circuits with large numbers of customers and shorter restoration times.
TNMP is a transmission and distribution service provider that delivers power to about 236,000 homes and businesses on behalf of retail electric providers in Texas. More information is available at tnmp.com/about-us.
Eric Paul: 409-949-5685