Winter storms, especially the ones that leave behind icy roads and frozen power lines, often lead to extensive power outages that can affect hundreds of members at one time. When this happens, Brunswick Electric works systematically to restore your power as quickly and safely as possible, and here’s how we do it.
First, line crews work to pinpoint problems. They start with high-voltage transmission lines. Transmission towers and cables that supply power to thousands of consumers rarely fail. But when damage occurs, these facilities must be repaired before other parts of the system can operate.
Next, crews check distribution substations. Each substation serves hundreds or thousands of members. When a major outage occurs, line crews inspect substations to discover if problems stem from transmission lines feeding into the substation, the substation itself, or if problems exist down the line.
If the problem cannot be isolated at a distribution substation, distribution lines are checked. These lines carry power to large groups of members in communities or housing developments.
If local outages persist, supply lines are inspected. These lines deliver power to transformers, either mounted on poles or placed on pads for underground service, outside businesses, schools and homes. And finally, if your home remains without power, the service line between a transformer and your home may need to be repaired.
FAQ about outages
Q: My neighbor has power but I do not. How is this possible?
A: It is common for homes in the same community to receive power from different lines or to be on different circuits, which means your power is unlikely to be restored at the same time. Or, you could have a problem inside your home such as a tripped breaker causing your power to be off longer than your neighbor.
Q: What is a supplier outage?
A: Occasionally, situations arise that cause BEMC to lose service from the supplier of our electricity, which leads to outages for our members. This type of outage is not a direct result of damage to our power lines and while we cannot control when this type of outage is restored, we work closely with the power supplier to ensure power is restored as quickly as possible and that our members are updated about progress for restoration.
Q: How should I prepare for an outage?
A: Just like during hurricane season, BEMC encourages members to be prepared in the event of a long-term outage due to a winter storm. There are many basic steps you can take to prepare, including keep a well-stocked emergency preparedness kit with a flashlight, batteries, cash and first aid supplies, and ensure battery powered devices are fully charged (Here's a checklist to help keep track of needs.). If you have a medical issue that is dependent on electricity, develop a back-up plan so you know where to go and what to do in the event of an extended outage. Find these tips and more at Ready.gov.