Power Failure Statistics
An online power outage statistical report shows that during the last two decades, power outages affecting at least 50,000 customers per outage have happened in all but two states. While some clearly struggle more than others, all states are vulnerable to long-term power outages that can wreak havoc for the unprepared.
A short-term power failure is considered any loss of power that lasts a few minutes to 48 hours.
How common is a short-term outage throughout the Unites States? You most likely have experienced an outage that is represented in the stats here.
average outage: 2 hours
average outage: 8 hours
average outage: 7 hours
is the most common cause.
overloads the system's ability to produce.
caused by car accidents and accidental line cutting by workers.
caused by lightning strikes.
A long-term power failure is considered any loss of power that lasts 48 hours and longer.
A severe storm system led to the worst energy infrastructure failure in Texas history, affecting 4.5 million Texans. It lasted for a total of 2 weeks and 3 days. On February 16, over four million Texan customers suffered a total blackout. Two days later, this figure stood at 687,1002. While most customers had their power restored within a couple of days, others were without power for a significantly longer period.
Tropical storm Isaias affected over 750.000 homes and businesses statewide. It took almost a week for some customers to have power restored.
is the most common cause.
including hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and mudslides. Note: wildfires have become a recurring reason for planned blackouts, especially on the west coast.
caused by antiquated power facilities or faulty wiring.
caused by both physical and cyberattacks.
Thankfully, long-term outages are not common throughout the Unites States. However, if you are one of the unfortunate people that have experienced a long-term outage, you know the importance and critical nature of advanced preparation. Here are just some of the risks for not being prepared.
Health Risks: Without power, people may be exposed to extreme temperatures, which can lead to health issues such as hypothermia or heat stroke. Additionally, those who rely on electrically powered medical equipment, such as oxygen concentrators or dialysis machines, may face life-threatening situations.
Loss of Internet Access: This can disrupt many aspects of life, including work (especially for those who work from home), education (for students who learn remotely), and general communication.
Sewage and Water Treatment: Power outages can affect water treatment plants and sewage systems, leading to a lack of clean water and potential sanitation issues.
Food Safety: Without refrigeration, food can spoil quickly, leading to foodborne illnesses.
Difficulty in Accessing Fuel: Gas stations rely on electricity to pump fuel. During a power outage, it might be difficult to refuel vehicles or generators.
Food & Water
food:Learn how to build a short-term food supply that will see you through a short or long term power outage.
cooking, lighting, & warmth: Learn about other alternative fuel options that will help you cook hot meals, boil water, and provide light and warmth without electricity.
cooking:Make hot meals for your family - learn more about alternative cooking methods.
lighting:You don't have to sit in the dark - learn more alternative lighting methods to light any room or outdoor area as little or as much as you'd like.
warmth:You don't have to be cold - learn more about alternative heating methods you can use to stay warm.
Install a freezer alarm:It will trigger if your freezer temperature goes beyond the lowest and highest temps set.
Keep freezer at least 70-80% full:If you don't have the food to do this, place jugs and baggies full of water in the freezer until it is. This way the freezer stays colder for longer in the event of a power outage.
First 24 to 48 hours:Do not open the freezer if possible. A half-full freezer will last about 24-hours. A fully stocked upright freezer should stay cold enough for 48 hours unopened. A 70 to 80% stocked chest freezer should stay cold enough for 48-78 hours.
Wrap with blankets:Wrap your chest freezer in blankets to help insulate it further.
After 24 to 48 hours:Plug the freezer into a generator. It doesn’t have to run all day. Depending upon your wattage, you can get by with 2-4 hours per day.
Home Equipment & Devices
Unplug electrical equipment:Unplug electrical equipment and appliances to prevent damage from potential power surges when the power is restored.
Phone battery:To conserve battery power, switch the phone to a power-saving setting such as airplane or economy mode.
Test alternative devices & fuel sources:Take the time to access your choices for alternative equipment and devices. Learn what works and what doesn't so you can improve on your plan for the next power outage. Are you missing anything? Keep a running list.
Check on Your Neighbors
Check on your neighbors: If it’s safe to do so, check on your neighbors. You neighbor may not be as prepared as you are. See if you can help out.
The elderly: A power outage can turn deadly if an unprepared person is caught in extreme temperatures in an extended power outage. This is especially true for the elderly or those with special needs.
Use an emergency radio: Use a battery-powered or hand-crank radio to stay informed about the situation.
Follow local guidelines: Follow guidelines from local authorities and emergency services. They may provide instructions on where to find emergency shelters if necessary or other give out other important information.
Once Power is Restored
- Check for damage inside and outside your home.
- Check for spoiled food in the refrigerator and freezer.
- Slowly reconnect equipment previously unplugged.
- Reset digital devices like clocks, timers, alarms, network routers, etc.
- Restock your emergency supplies as soon as possible.
- Look at the list of items you wished you had on hand: stock up on these items for the next outage.
- Review how well your emergency plan worked during the outage. Make updates or improvements based on what you learned.
- Check on your neighbors to make sure they are okay, especially if they are elderly or have special needs.