SMECO newsletter

volume 65 - issue 3 - march 2015

Have a plan for power outages

An outage is never convenient, but when it involves the elderly or those who rely on electrical health equipment, it's important to have a plan in place in case of an extended outage.

Outages lasting more than a few hours can happen after a major storm or weather event like we experienced after Hurricane Irene. With these storms, there is usually warning to prepare and ensure loved ones can safely weather a potential outage.

SMECO's restoration policy is to make repairs that will restore service to the most people in the least amount of time. Individual services cannot be restored until the power leading up to them is repaired.

Transmission lines, which supply power to one or more substations, are the first priority. A transmission outage can affect more than 10,000 customer-members.

Substations are repaired next and can serve as many as 5,000 customers.

• The co-op then fixes main distribution lines, which serve a group of customers from each substation.

• Now the tap lines, which serve smaller groups of customers from the distribution lines, can be fixed.

• Finally, individual services are restored.

SMECO works quickly and safely to restore power in the most efficient manner possible, but it is important to plan for a multi-day event just in case.

The elderly and individuals who rely on electric equipment for health reasons should make plans for alternate sources of power or lodging when a storm is expected. Know where the emergency shelters are located. SMECO has a special telephone number (1-866-524-9402) for emergency situations with up-to-date information on public shelters.