We do our best to avoid them, but there’s no way around it: Power outages occasionally happen — especially during this time of the year. Thanks to the great work the Powell Valley Electric Cooperative team does each day to strengthen our power system, most of our members experience rare and brief outages. Unfortunately, when strong storms roll through, they sometimes leave damage in their wake.

When the power goes out, how do Powell Valley Electric Cooperative crews know where to start working? How do you know if your outage has been reported? We have answers to these questions and more, and it all starts with a safe, efficient plan for power restoration.

When it’s safe for our crews to begin the restoration process, they start by assessing the damage and forming a plan that usually focuses on restoring power to the greatest number of people in the shortest time possible.

This process typically begins with repairs to main distribution lines that serve many homes and businesses. After those repairs are made, crews work on smaller lines that feed neighborhoods or streets. Finally, service lines connecting individual homes or businesses are repaired.

We can’t control the weather, but we can prepare for it. Powell Valley Electric Cooperative keeps a supply of extra poles, transformers and other equipment on hand so we can quickly get to work in the event of an outage. When widespread outages occur, multiple crews will be out in the field simultaneously working to repair damage at multiple locations. We also coordinate with nearby co-ops to bring in additional crews when necessary.

If you experience a power outage, don’t assume a neighbor reported it. It’s best to report the outage yourself, and we make that easy to do. Members can report an outage through our app or by calling your local Powell Valley Electric Cooperative office.

If you have a medical condition that requires electrical equipment, always have a backup plan in place. This could include stockpiling extra medical supplies or moving to an alternate location until power is restored.

Mother Nature can be unpredictable, but as a member of Powell Valley Electric Cooperative, you can feel confident knowing we’re standing by, ready to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

— Brad Coppock