At a time of year when many people are revisiting their tornado plans, Texas-New Mexico Power would like to suggest that power customers include power outage preparation at the same time.
Springtime in Texas, including wind, lightning and, yes, tornadoes, marks the busiest time of year for TNMP in terms of responding to power outages.
“We adjust our plans when severe weather is possible in the communities we serve,” says TNMP President Neal Walker.
“Even when we have all hands on deck, it still can take a while to safely restore power to everyone after a big storm. That’s why we encourage customers to have plans in place to help them get by if the power is out for an extended period of time.”
Steps Customers Can Take
- Put the power company’s phone number in a convenient location.
- For TNMP customers, call 888-866-7456 to report an outage or to hear the latest estimate for when power will be restored.
- Check flashlights or electric lanterns in advance.
- Ensure in advance batteries for flashlights and weather radios are fresh.
- Charge phones, tablets, rechargeable lanterns and hand-held video games in the hours before a storm is expected to arrive.
- Have snacks and drinks ready to go – but not in the refrigerator, which should stay closed while the power is out.
- Prepare a backup plan if someone in the home depends on powered medical equipment.
Customers also may wish to discuss with children, in advance, what a power outage means, particularly after dark.
How Customers Can Stay Safe
- Avoid using landline phones if there is lightning in the area.
- Cordless and mobile phones are OK.
- Teach everyone to stay far away from any downed power lines, regardless of whether power is on in the area.
- Run portable generators outside and well away from any buildings.
- Portable generator owners also should know why they should only power specific appliances – not an entire home or business.
- Staying safe when lightning is around also is important. Tips are available from ready.gov/thunderstorms-lightning
How TNMP Prepares
We prepare crews for power outage work in areas that are forecasted to be affected by incoming weather. We also have plans for quickly calling in additional crews, if needed.
Our first focus is on fixing damage that is disrupting power for the most number of customers. Finding storm-damaged equipment, particularly after dark, can be time-consuming.
While maintaining a strong emphasis on safety in what can be dangerous working conditions, crews will work until all customers have power restored from these storms.
TNMP is a transmission and distribution service provider that delivers power to about 245,000 homes and businesses on behalf of retail electric providers in Texas. More information is available at tnmp.com/about.