Utility Recommends Investment in Backup Power

March 30, 2017

By Paula Bernier - Executive Editor, TMC

Weather is becoming more extreme. And spring is the busy season.

According to a piece yesterday on ThinkProgress, U.S. communities have been hit by 203 extreme weather and climate disasters that have each caused at least $1 billion in damages since 1980.

When it comes to extreme weather, Texas is a hot spot. Not only does it frequently see storms, but it is the site of at least two of the top 10 most damaging weather events since 1900.

Back in 1900, Galveston, Texas, was hit by a hurricane that killed more than 6,000 people and leveled every structure on the island. There was a 15-foot storm surge and 120 mile per hour winds. Galveston set records again in 2008 during Hurricane Ike, which claimed 100 lives and brought 100 mile per hour winds.

Given Texas is such a popular spot for storms, local officials and utilities work to help citizens plan ahead for extreme weather. For example, Texas-New Mexico Power recently has been encouraging its customers to have plans in place should a power outage occur.

It suggests customers have the power company’s number in a convenient location;

report outages and keep abreast of updates at the utility’s 800 number; check flashlights and lanterns to make sure they’re in good working order, and install new batteries in them; charge mobile devices before storms are expected to hit;

keep the cupboard – but not the refrigerator – stocked; have a plan on how to cope if someone at home depends upon powered medical equipment for their well being; and invest in a backup power solution.

“Even when we have all hands on deck, it still can take a while to safely restore power to everyone after a big storm,” TNMP President Neal Walker recently told The Lewisville Texas Journal. “That’s why we encourage customers to have plans in place to help them get by if the power is out for an extended period of time.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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