Editor’s Note: Hurricanes are unpredictable. All information about named storms, Laura and Marco are based on information made available on the National Hurricane Center website on Aug. 24, 2020, at 7:00 PM. This is not intended to be a weather forecast, but rather a safety message about ways to prepare for hurricanes and the possible power outages associated with them. As of 7:15, the morning of Aug. 25, Tropical Storm Laura was upgraded to a hurricane according to the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane season is here again, and it is moving faster than previous seasons. Tropical Storm Laura is the earliest ‘L’ named storm in history and has since been upgraded to a hurricane. Although it isn’t too late to get some hurricane and power outage essentials together, CPS Energy has been talking about hurricane preparedness for a few months now.
The first week of May is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. Every first week of May. And every first week of May CPS Energy puts together some hurricane preparedness tips to help our customers get ready. Even in 2020, the year of seemingly endless challenges, CPS Energy published readiness tips in May. The hurricanes are here. If you’ve been following the news, especially the weather reports, we are facing the possibility of two hurricanes – Laura and Marco – in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time. Something that has never happened before. The closest we have seen was a hurricane and a tropical storm in the gulf at the same time was in 1933.
Even though San Antonio is about 150 miles from the coast, the effects of a hurricane can still be felt. Sometimes it is light rain, other times it can be a little more intense. CPS Energy works incredibly hard to build and maintain a strong, resilient electric system to serve its customers, but storm-related outages are a fact of life. When outages occur, the utility’s crews spring into action to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible.
But there are some things customers can do to make an outage a safer, more bearable experience. Even though the exact destinations of these two storms is yet to be seen, it is still a good idea to prepare.
Read CPS Energy’s May 2018 blog with some of the basics the National Weather Service recommends having on hand before a hurricane hits and power outages start. One of the big things is batteries. Have extras in the drawer for flashlights and make sure your phones are fully charged. There are also lots of external battery packs available that can extend your phone’s charge. PCMag has compiled a list of power banks and portable chargers they think stand out in 2020. The blog also discusses having nonperishable food. Even though every effort is made to minimize the duration of an outage, you should be ready for one to last days. Living On The Cheap has a great resource for how to avoid food waste during a power outage.
One popular item for outage readiness is a portable generator. These certainly help keep critical equipment running during extended outages but there are risks. Be fully familiar with how to safely operate your generator.
BE SURE TO READ: Prepare your generator for hurricane season
While hurricane season is a particularly important time of year to be ready for outages, they can happen any time of year. CPS Energy will always talk about outage preparedness and safety. Subscribe to the newsroom to stay up to date on the latest tips, news, and more. You can also get the latest information on where outages are, when they might be restored, and report new ones at CPS Energy’s outage center.