Time To Get Ready: Spring Storm Outages
Spring thunderstorm season has started to make itself known, which means power companies and power customers need to prepare for power outages.
Lightning, wind and trees combine to cause outages throughout the year, but typically peak from April-June.
Texas-New Mexico Power urges customers to review their power outage plans, which can accompany their tornado and tropical storm plans (depending on location).
"It's an unknown every year how storms may affect us in terms of outages and equipment damage," TNMP President Neal Walker says. "We do know it's more likely in the spring and we prepare for that."
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, that 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 backup plans, in advance, 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 key community services (hospitals, water/sewer, etc.), then working on repairing outages affecting the largest numbers 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.
- We've seen no indications that would cause us to anticipate delays in our outage-restoration responses due to coronavirus. More information posted at tnmp.com.
TNMP is a transmission and distribution service provider that delivers power to about 255,00 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