Severe weather impacts on power supply

5th Season: Day 4
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 9:43 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Power outages can be a common experience during the severe weather season and if it lasts for a few hours or more, it could call for breaking out the generator.

Most power outages are over before someone can blink, but that’s not always the case. Having a generator can help provide a family with enough electricity to charge phones and keep food from going bad.

Electricity travels in circuits. If something like a tree limb or tornado breaks a circuit, power may go out until it can be restored.

Extended outages are rare, according to Wayne Greene of Public Service Company of Oklahoma.

“Our self-healing grid technology, which is being put in place in a broader part of the PSO coverage area, can isolate a break in our lines and, in an instant, automatically redirect many of the affected customers to other circuits which restores their power,” he said.

Greene said the best way people can protect their families during an outage is by having a plan and gathering the necessary supplies.

“Some basic camping equipment, like a sleeping bag and maybe a camp stove,” he said. “It’s a good idea to have some non-perishable food, a good manual can opener and important over-the-counter medicines that you might need.”

The necessary supplies people would want to include in their home emergency kit are flashlights, batteries, a battery powered radio or television and water.

“Be careful how you use things like candles and lanterns and especially generators,” Greene said. “Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on generators. Connect appliances directly to generator outlets. Not to the main electrical panel of your home.”

Johnathan Addington, who sells generators in Lawton, said there are hazards that come along with home generators that run on propane and natural gas.

“Running them outside,” he said. “Make sure you don’t run them inside and if you’re going to wire them to the house, then actually have an electrician come out and do it for you.”

And Greene said while PSO can’t control severe weather, they do prepare for it.

“No machine designed by man is completely immune to the forces of mother nature,” he said. “The PSO distribution grid is well-designed, well-maintained, which makes it resilient and we stay ready for those moments when we’re reminded of the awesome power of Oklahoma weather.”

5th Season continues with weather coverage and storm safety.
5th Season continues with weather coverage and storm safety.(KSWO)

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