Electricity runs lives. Ever wondered what would happen if there is a sudden power outage, especially in the winter seasons? In fact, a lot of you must have asked — can power be cut off in the winter?
Well, this guide will give you the answers.
The first section of this article will familiarize you with the reasons for power outages in winters.
The second will inform you about the top five states that are prone to power outages.
Whereas the third section of the guide will inform you what to do if the power is shut off in your area or city. Furthermore, there are also some FAQs to further enhance your awareness of the power outages.
Part 1: Can the power company turn off power in winter？
Legally, No. Laws (in several States) demand that the power company couldn’t turn off your power even if you haven’t paid the bill. The rules differ as per the States, but the underlying fact remains that the utility company couldn’t do it (intentionally). However, that does not mean that you couldn’t lose power in the winter. Other reasons that could cause power outages:
1. What will cause a power outage in winter?
While there are many reasons for power outages to occur during winter, two prominent and usually the primary ones are weather and high demand. Here’s what could go wrong:
- High Winds: winds could cause power lines to swing together, resulting in a power fault or short circuit. Plus, strong winds could also bring entire trees or just a section of them onto the power lines disrupting the power supply. This also stands for hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes (associated with strong winds). They will damage the property, in turn, affect the power supply.
- Winter storms: severe winters storms come with their own set of dangers. Fossbytes, low visibility, and hypothermia — reduce the manpower to repair any damages to the power line.
- Load shedding: another peculiar reason for the power outage in winter is when the generator is under too much demand. However, being controlled by the power company, these types of power outages do not last long, and you will receive regular supply when the power demand decreases.
2. Top 5 States for Power Outages in the US.
Here’s a list of the five states that are prone to power outages in the US:
- California:In 2017, California saw over 438 outages affecting three million of the population due to various reasons. Eaton Blackout Tracker monitors still rank California as the top state for power loss.
- Texas: Heatwaves and flooding are the significant reasons for power outages in Texas. Around 1.1 million people were affected in 2017 due to 192 power cuts.
- New York: Rare, but happens. 2017 Annual reports indicate that around 900,000 residents suffered because of power outages.
- Ohio: Being near the great lakes, the weather is the prominent reason for power outages in Ohio.
- Michigan: Another State prone to weather-caused destructions — Michigan saw 56 outages (of 155) due to bad weather.
3. Possible consequences of a power outage
The current era is reliant on electricity. A power outage, even for hours, could disrupt communications, transportation, and water facilities. Of course, everything else is dependent on these — so a lot of hell could go down if your States or area suffers from a power outage.
Part 2: Prepare for a Power outage
As mentioned, there are several reasons for power outages in winter. Moreover, it has nothing to do with the power company — so, it is in your best interest to prepare for the power outages beforehand. Given that winters are harsh — a little preparation could go a long way. Here are some tips that could help you better prepare if ever a situation arises.
1. Plan ahead before the power outage
Electricity controls a lot of elements of the house. So, the effect is not limited only to the electronics gadgets being turned off — rather, the food, the water, and other utilities will also leave you at bay.
- Considering that, you will have to prepare an emergency kit — and if the situation demands — an evacuation strategy is also a must.
- Stock up the pantry with bottled water (in case you do not have a source of water); moreover, ensure to preserve some non-perishable food items.
- Ensure to have a non-electric heater with you. You could also consider installing a fireplace (that runs on wood or gas). But do not forget that such installations need regular maintenance or checkup.
- If an elderly member relies on electric medical equipment — then assure to sketch a plan with a community emergency program or the local hospital.
2. During a power outage
Coming to the D-day: you will have to ensure that power outage is not limited to your home alone.
- Ensure to check the neighborhood. If other people have power in their homes. Please call an electrician and ensure that your fuses or breakers are not a reason for the outage. Moreover, if you see a disrupted line — please call the emergency services or the power company.
- Stay warm: given that electricity controls the heating system, running out of power means soon the heating system will shut down. So, ensure that all the family members remain warm.
- Ensure to keep your food cool: another thing that people do not give attention to is the food. Given that the power outage happened because of bad weather — it is critical that you have to preserve the food you have. Moreover, it is important to keep it cool.
- Regulate the smoke: given that people will soon turn to the fireplace — which produces carbon monoxide — you will have to regulate the smoke by allowing sufficient ventilation.
- Check for updates: ensure to turn out the radio or the local news channels to follow up on what’s happening outside.
3. When the power comes back
This is another critical part. Given that power outages come in different scenarios — you will have to be wary of several things. For instance, if a burst pipe has flooded the house — ensure to turn off the mains before stepping into the water.
Another thing to remember is to unplug the appliances before turning the power ON. As could very well lead to a power surge. Above all, remember to replace the emergency kit and plan for the next outage more thoroughly.
Part 3: How to get power during a power outage
1. Using Battery Power Bank
One of the best things that you could do is use a battery bank that is rechargeable via both electricity and solar energy. If the reason for the power outage is load shedding — it means that the outage is a controlled one. So, you could charge the batteries for the time when there is no electricity.
2. Using Solar Panels to Get Electricity
You could also utilize the solar panels to charge up the battery bank and utilize it for power when necessary, i.e., during a power outage.
Part 4: Pros of A Battery Bank
1. Utilize different electricity prices at different times to save electricity bills
Given that many States are running time-based electricity rate programs — a battery bank could help you keep up during peak hours. Moreover, you could charge it up at off-peak hours to save money on the electricity bills.
2. It can use solar energy to generate electricity
One of the best things about the battery banks — well the good ones — is they have the two-way rechargeable systems incorporated. So, in case you have a sunny day — you could simply spread the solar panels in your garden (yes, portable) and charge them via solar energy. Given that — power outages are rare — solar-powered power stations could also be useful to charge or run things if you want to save on electricity consumption.
3. It can be used for emergencies in the event of a power outage
Of course, the most significant advantage of possessing a battery bank is it could be helpful when there is a power outage. Given that sophisticated systems like the ones mentioned later in this article — BLUETTI’s AC300+BC300 — could be a backup generator for hours and run multiple things simultaneously too.
4. It can be used indoors
Unlike gas-based generators — solar-or-electricity-based heating systems do not emit any harmful gases. Moreover, they are portable — so, you could also carry them in your homes and use them for the things that are necessary. Another benefit of the battery banks — running on electricity or solar power — is they are quiet. So, if you are someone who enjoys peace rather than continuous-and-non-stopping machinery noise — a battery bank is the way to go.
Part 5: Best Battery Bank: BLUETTI AC300+B300 POWER STATION COMBO
BLUETTI has quite the success in the battery bank business. And for a reason: they continue to impress users with their ever-evolving technology. Take its AC200 Power Station, for instance, users were impressed to have such a sophisticated yet simple power bank in their homes.
But it soon came with AC300, along with the LFP battery module, the new BLUETTI AC300 Power Station brings the capacity to twice as much as the earlier model.
Here’s why should consider BLUETTI’s AC300+B300 for your homes:
- The AC300 model of BLUETTI could accept 4xB300 battery modules per unit. Counting the total power — it is above 12000Wh, enough to fulfill basic necessities for days.
- The power bank is designed to receive 2400Wh of unrivaled solar energy. Taking as less as 1.5 hours to charge, it will deliver you power for hours.
- Packed with a 3000-watt pure sine inverter — the AC300 power system can also be charged at 1800W to 3000W using the wall outlets as you require.
- Given that you have both — electricity-cum-solar-power rechargeable systems — you could charge as per your needs and fulfill all the demand.
1. Is it safe to use battery-powered generators indoors?
Of course. Battery-powered generators do not emit any harmful gases like the gas-powered generators — making them an only option if you want to install a generator inside. As earlier mentioned, BLUETTI’s AC300+BC300 is the best battery-powered generator for indoors. Moreover, do not forget that they are quiet and could run several things simultaneously. So, yes. It is entirely safe to use battery-powered generators indoors.
2. What should be included in my emergency kit?
Water, Batteries, Food, flashlights, candles are some ideas. The best emergency kit for you is the one that you plan out. Of course, you could be missing something — but that’s where insights from other family members kick in.
3. How to keep warm during power outages in winter?
You could consider installing a fireplace (wood-based) or purchasing a non-electric heater to stay warm during power outages in winters.
4. How to charge my electronic device during power outages?
You could utilize the battery banks like BLUETTI AC300+BC300 to charge up electronics and run essential items during power outages.
There you go! You are now well-equipped with all the etiquettes that could turn out to be life-saving in a time when everything could go wrong. Before doing anything — when the power goes — be sure to stay warm and ensure that all the family members are warm too.
The second thing is to ensure that you grab the battery bank and run essential things only. Moreover, be sure to follow up on the news and be informed about what’s happening outside, especially if the power failure happened because of bad weather.