Thanksgiving Day is supposed to be a time for people to celebrate and get together. But not everyone was lucky enough to be able to celebrate as heavy snow fell in some parts of the United States.
Aside from disrupting the travel plans of some Americans, about 248,000 properties were left without electricity on Thanksgiving morning.
Power outages were reported from West Virginia to Vermont early Thursday — including 94,000 customers in Maine, 53,000 in New York, 41,000 in Massachusetts and 27,000 in New Jersey.
More than 700 flights were canceled — with almost 5,000 others delayed — and there were 125 accidents on snow-slicked roads in a single state on Wednesday, one of the busiest travel days of the year.
source: NBC News
Power outages can be caused by different factors
There are many ways that winter weather can cause power outages. Snow, sleet, and slush can buildup on trees and power lines, either snapping the lines directly or snapping tree limbs that bring down the line as they fall. Click here to see our West and South Coverage Areas.
Despite the regular maintenance, extreme weather conditions such as typhoons, flooding and heavy snowfall would always affect our electric supply, so our preparedness is always important in these kinds of situation. Nothing is more frightening than being completely in the dark during a stressful situation.
How you can prepare
Check your fuse and switches ahead of time to see if there is any problem.
Keep a supply of candles, batteries, torches and emergency flashlights.
If you plan to use a generator, have a qualified electrician install them to ensure safety and proper use.
Take note of the important numbers/hotlines which you can contact in case of emergency.
Since severe winter weather sometimes last a few days or even weeks, home heating should be taken into consideration when preparing for a power outage.
Some common alternative sources of home heating are fireplaces, space heaters, wood-burning stove and kerosene heaters. Keep in mind however, for stoves the have blowers, augers to feed fuel-pellets or other electric controls, these appliances will not fully function without electricity. Of course using any non- electrical/utility provided fuel heating system will require an ample supply of wood, pellets, propane, kerosene, etc.
Appliances that should not be used for home heating:
Unvented shop-type propane space heaters
Unvented home kerosene heater (unless properly vented)
In the event of a furnace break-down, it is tempting to use appliances that still have electric or gas supply to them. However, using appliances that are not designed for home heating is a dangerous compromise. Appliances that are not designed for home heating include:
Gas and electric oven and stove
Gas clothes dryer
Unvented coal, oil, wood and pellet heaters/stoves
What to do when there is already a power outage
Check first the household trip switch and fuses.
Turn off the main breaker or the power supply box.
Make sure electric appliances are unplugged from the wall socket.
Ensure safety by keeping your children, other family members and animals away from damaged poles and broken lines.
Be cautious when using a candle.
When using generators, be cautious of the carbon monoxide poisoning. Place it outside with the exhaust away from the vents.
After the outage
Do not touch anything power lines are touching. Always assume a downed line is a live line.
Be extra cautious when going outside to check damage after the storm. Keep children or animals away from downed or hanging electrical wires.
Call your electric company to report any damaged wires or any outage-related problem.
Our electricians san diego electrical experts here at Gforce Green Electric Solutions provides free home safety inspections and generator installations with services in El Cajon, Ramona, Spring Valley and Carlsbad to name a few. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
photo credit: insurancejournal.com