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Sudden power outages and disasters can occur without warning. While Estes Power & Communications responds immediately to power outages, outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially if they last for a long time. For prolonged power outages, follow the steps below to keep the members of your household as comfortable as possible until the situation is resolved.
Multiple outages are prioritized by the types of services affected, such as schools and hospitals, followed by the number of people affected. Light & Power cannot base its response on one individual’s medical situation. Crews will respond as soon as possible, but residents who require oxygen or other electric-powered medical equipment should have a 24-hour backup plan.
Another consideration in our unique mountain environs is house location and surroundings. Strong winds and heavy snows can bring down trees, damaging service lines and house connections. This damage needs to be repaired by an electrician and inspected by an electrical inspector before Light & Power crews can reconnect the power. Keeping your service line free and clear of trees will help mitigate the risk of damage. Keep the number of several electricians and tree companies on hand in case of storm damage.
You can find a variety of sample emergency plans at Ready.gov. Download and fill out one of them or use them as a guide to creating your own. Be sure to practice your plan with your family and/or household.
Keep your emergency kit in a safe, dry location and don’t forget where you stored it.
For more information on building an emergency supply kit check out the FEMA Emergency Supply List and the Red Cross Emergency Kit website.
When there’s a big outage, our linemen sometimes have to bring sections of customers back on bit by bit. We can see problems if lots of electrical devices that use plenty of power (like water heaters, space heaters, and electric heating systems), all try to come back on at the same time. This large rush of current is called “cold load pickup,” and it can sometimes cause problems on the system. That’s why linemen sometimes have to bring customers back on in stages, delaying restoration times for all customers.
If you follow our advice and turn off those energy hogs until at least 20 minutes after power has been restored, everyone can get their electricity back on faster.
For more information on how to prepare for possible power outages or other disasters, visit Ready.gov.