A rolling blackout is a problematic and very inconvenient circumstance. This is especially true if your chores and work depend on electricity to accomplish them. Not to mention the inconvenience it provides during the peak of the summer days or winter months. Can you relate? My blog for today will attempt to provide you with the answer you seek on why rolling blackouts occur and how you can prepare for them once electric cooperatives announce them. So without further ado, let’s begin and address the issue of a rolling blackout…
What is a Rolling Blackout?
In simple terms, a rolling blackout is an announced power interruption. Electric cooperatives implement them and temporarily shut down the power distribution to compensate for the power shortage or certain malfunctions that the company is experiencing to prevent further damage. Cutting the power distribution limits the electric demand from a specific area so as to protect the lines of the consumer from the electrical plant from overloading.
The rolling blackout usually lasts for a few hours, depending on the required maintenance period that the utility personnel needed to address the issue or repairs. What this means is that it is supposed to give you sufficient time to prepare.
Why Does It Happen?
As mentioned earlier, the cause of a rolling blackout is mainly due to the reasons below:
Compensate for the Power Shortage
When the power demand is more than the power supply, the electric cooperatives may consider temporarily rotating blackouts to reduce the demand for electricity in consumers until the power distribution is stabilized. It is an inevitable necessity to avoid catastrophic events it could cause once the electric lines are overloaded.
Cut off Power Due to Extreme Weather
Another scenario where you’ll be seeing power companies cutting off electricity is during or when bad weather is forecasted, such as a thunderstorm, hurricane, or flooding. At this point, the reason for their action is pretty much apparent. Once the lines are damaged, it will not only damage the main power lines, but it could also be highly perilous to the residents of the area. Of course, keeping our life convenient is imminent but temporarily shutting down the lines until the safety of the public is assured is a top priority.Rolling Blackout for Maintenance
Power generation disruptions can also make a rolling blackout. These disruptions include traditional malfunctions or maintenance at power plants, and renewable energy sources like wind and sunlight failing to cooperate on providing enough juice for our electrical grids. When faced with widespread disruption of power supplies by any means necessary, grid operators must be ready so that we don't have to suffer through further interruptions in our daily lives.
How Long Do Rolling Blackouts Last?
In the face of a blackout, you may despairingly want to ask "are rolling blackouts planned?", "when can we get the power back?". In fact, the rolling blackouts are scheduled, which means generally you'll get notice beforehand about when it happens and how long it lasts. And the specific time may be ranging from several hours to a few days varying for different regions.
By scheduling rotating outages ahead of time for different regions, households and businesses can plan around when their area will be affected by these temporary interruptions. If your home or business could fall victim to this practice any day now, make sure you are keeping up with the local residential community, electric cooperatives, or media sources and staying informed!
How to Prepare for Rolling Blackouts?
The great advantage of rolling blackouts, if you could call it like that, is that the electrical cooperative announces it, which gives you enough time to prepare. And once you already know the rolling blackout schedule, the following is a list of what you can do to make the event less stressful, so to speak—
Backing up flashlights, candles, and other alternative lights in the home is a good idea to free from a power blackout. Aside from that, it is important that you stock up on daily essentials like food, medicines, and water if a hurricane and flooding are forecasted in your area.
Invest in Portable Power Stations
Portable power stations are a direct necessity in every home. Needless to say that they are expensive, but they are a lifesaver in times of crisis, such as a rolling blackout. A solar portable station such as the Anker 757 PowerHouse is a better investment because it has a larger capacity and gives you the ability to recharge not only your digital devices but also some home appliances even if there’s a power outage.
Pre-charge Your Handheld Devices and Communications
In an emergency, it is important to charge the batteries you will be using for your flashlights and radio in advance, so you will be updated about the circumstances around you. In addition, it is important that you have backup communication in order for you to call the authorities whenever help is needed.
We can all make a difference by embracing energy conservation. Unplug the appliances when they're not in use. Switch on appliances during off-peak hours, invest in ENERGY STAR products that are more budget-friendly than traditional ones, and utilize proper insulation for HVAC systems! These demand response helps grid operators to manage low power supply and combat high demand. We can do our part today & start making those small changes toward bettering our environment.
It’s no doubt that a rolling blackout interferes with our daily productivity. But we have to be understanding of the matter for the greater good if you will. Plus, a rolling blackout is typically scheduled, which allows you to have the time to prepare. And pre-charging your handheld devices, conserving energy in life, storing some essentials, and investing in generators can help you get through the rough rolling blackouts.
FAQ about Rolling Blackout
What Happens in a Rolling Blackout?
The standard is that before a rolling blackout, the electric distributor will provide announcements to all of its consumers that are affected by the power shortage.
During a rolling blackout, there will be no electricity for such time, and the consumer must prepare for the coming shutdown of power lines and turn to alternative sources such as a power generator.
What Causes a Rolling Blackout?
The cause of a rolling blackout depends on a specific event. But one of the most common reasons is that increase in demand is causing the lines to overload. Another reason is a bad weather system, such as flooding or heavy rainfall. Besides, power equipment maintenance may also lead to a rolling blackout.
What’s the Difference Between a Rolling Brownout and a Rolling Blackout?
Although both refer to the shutting down of lines, a rolling blackout and a rolling brownout are two different events. A rolling blackout usually has a schedule and gives you time to prepare, and often powers off quickly at the planned time.
However, a rolling brownout is often sudden and unexpected happening like a cascading domino effect, with voltage levels continuing to drop and the infrastructure powerless to keep up.
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