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Here Comes Winter: Are You Ready for an Outage?


Here Comes Winter: Are You Ready for an Outage?

November 13, 2014

  By Rory J. Thompson, Web Editor

It seems like a cliché when folks remark that there’s almost never a (insert name of season here) anymore. Winter can go to summer with a sudden spike in temperature, making spring seem like it’s M.I.A. Unfortunately, the same thing seems to happening over a large part of the U.S. this week, as temps plunge and the autumn that was, is no more.

But even worse than the cold is the high winds and icing that are coming along, too. Who’s ready for that? Portland (Ore) power company General Electric has issued some guidelines for its customers to be prepared for the weather change, but they can apply to generally everyone in winter’s crosshairs.

“While you still have a light to turn on, settle in and read these reminders from PGE and Pacific Power of what you need to do if you experience a power outage,” the company said in a release. “Print out this list now to prepare for the next outage (remember, you won't have a working printer if there's no power).”

The list includes the usual caveats and suggestions:

  • Turn off all electrical equipment, including your water heater, electric furnace or heaters, stove, washer and dryer, stereo and TV, to help prevent overloading the system when power is restored;
  • Keep on a porch light and one light inside so you and crews will know when service is restored;
  • If you see any downed utility lines, stay far back and call the power company;
  • If your neighbor's power comes back on but yours does not, call your utility company again.

But one point of advice the power companies always overlook is to get yourself uninterruptible power supply (UPS) devices to provide emergency power when power fails. The most obvious advantage of an uninterruptible power supply is, of course, the maintenance of power.

Aside from maintaining power when necessary, UPS prevents data loss and offers surge protection. The UPS automatically switches to AC-generated battery power, preventing the spike or surge from harming whatever is connected to it. A UPS also prevents power fluctuations.

Winter’s coming, and there’s no stopping it. But being prepared means more than stocking up on food and water; it also means protecting your pricey electronics so that when the power comes back on, they do, too. 

Power Protection Homepage ››

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