If you’ve lived in Indiana any length of time, you know how unpredictable the weather can be, especially in the spring months.
While we hope for gentle spring showers, we have been known to get thunderstorms, and even the occasional tornado in March or April. Snow and ice are also rare possibilities.
While Orange County REMC works hard to provide you with a constant supply of electricity, Mother Nature sometimes packs a big enough punch to bring down power lines, snap poles or damage transformers. When this happens, we work to respond as quickly as possible. However, larger outages can take longer to restore. Here are a couple of things members can do to make life a little easier during an outage.
Phones and mobile devices
In this age of mobile technology, most of us depend on a cell phone, and may also use a tablet or laptop to stay connected and gather information. There are now several types of battery banks on the market with USB outputs, that are great for charging these types of small mobile devices when you can’t plug into a conventional outlet. Some even have a solar panel, allowing you to charge the power bank without using electricity. Alternatively, you can charge the power bank with a 12v port in your car and have it ready to power your devices.
Portable lighting has come a long way since candles and kerosene lamps. Make sure you have several LED flashlights around. The LED bulbs are very bright, and use a fraction of the battery power of older type flashlights. You can get excellent light output from flashlights using tiny AAA batteries, or you can find flashlights that have a rechargeable battery and can double as a power bank that can be used to charge your phone or tablet.
Most people automatically think about having a generator for back-up power. That is a great option, as long as you follow a few important safety steps. Either make sure you plug a few needed appliances directly into your generator, or have a transfer switch installed by a qualified electrician to keep the generator from back-feeding power onto our lines and putting our linemen at risk. Also, keep your generator outdoors (never in a garage or enclosed porch) to avoid deadly carbon monoxide in your home.
As always, if you see downed power lines or damaged electrical equipment, please stay away from it, and contact Orange County REMC immediately.