Power outages come at any time of day, in just about any place, and often at inconvenient times. These outages quickly and hazardously disrupt the daily lives of thousands, if not more. Each time that the power goes out, every single person is asking themselves, “How long does a power outage last?”
It’s a question that we’ve all asked ourselves. It’s a normal way to react to a bad situation. You want to know just how long you’ll be without the power that keeps your life moving forward throughout the day.
Most power outages can be restored within hours, but those caused by storms or violent winds that damage electrical lines and equipment can linger for days or even weeks.
There are plenty of ways to know how long a power outage lasts. You can learn via notification from the local power bureau, research past outages, and call the utility company. The most important thing to look for is what exactly caused the power outage. This can tell you how long you’ll be without electricity if you can understand the process behind getting the power back up and running.
What Caused the Power Outage
As mentioned before, let’s take a look at what typically causes a power outage. Losing power happens for countless reasons. This article will cover some of the most common all over the world.
Imagine driving to work and suddenly coming upon a crowd of trucks around a live power line laying in the middle of the road.
The night before, there was likely a massive storm that had strong enough winds to take trees down and the power lines with them.
A storm is one of the more common causes of power outages, notably in places with high winds and severe thunderstorms throughout the stormy season. For example, most of the power outages during hurricane season come from damaged equipment from the storm surge.
A downed power line can take as little as 2-3 hours for a crew to get out and fix them, but when the storm is bigger, you can expect the power to stay out for days, or sometimes even weeks. The extent of the damage and the efficiency of your local area’s electric crew will make a big difference.
Other aspects of the weather will change the game entirely. Lightning can play a part in turning the lights off. When it finds an electric line to make contact with, the surge of power will course through the system and eventually overload the equipment, leading to failure.
This can overload transformers, leading to a complete overhaul and necessary installation of new equipment, often meaning multiple days of work.
Overloaded Circuits and Overuse
At home, you can experience a power outage simply from blowing a circuit when you use too many devices at once.
This is often an easy fix. All you need to do is head to the circuit breaker and flip the switch that’s been activated. You can’t return to exactly what you were doing, and you may need to look into something like a portable power station to provide the additional power necessary for whatever task is at hand.
When there is a high demand for electricity in a certain area, not all equipment is built to handle such large loads. As a result, the equipment will fail and need to be fixed.
Depending on the piece of equipment, the failure can mean the power is out for hours, but can also mean it’s out for days.
There are even occasions in which different utility companies will have to reduce output to certain areas and limit each household's use for a certain period of time.
Ways to Know How Long the Power Outage Lasts
Notifications from Local Power Bureaus
Hopefully, the local power company has a system that sends out alerts to its service area when the power goes out. This is often the best way to have some idea of how long the power outage lasts.
Unfortunately, these aren’t always fully accurate and you can find a more precise answer through other methods.
Estimates Based on Past Outage Times
If you’ve experienced power outages in your area before, you may be able to know how long you’ll be without power. If you can recall another time when a line went down, you can use that as a reference point to understand what this time may be like.
This gives the most accurate time estimate if you know why the power is out. Some companies are great at getting the lights back on, but not all of them are going to be as fast as others.
Call the Electricity Bureau
If you really want a straightforward answer, go ahead and try just calling the power company. They can explain the situation and let you know exactly what they’ve done to help resolve it as well.
Prepare for Short & Long-term Outages
Regardless of how long the power outage may last, you will want to be prepared for when the day inevitably comes.
Growatt’s portable power stations are a great way to ensure that you still have power when your neighbors don’t.
The INFINITY 1500, INFINITY 1300, and the VITA 550 all do a fantastic job at storing power for a long time, ensuring that they are ready for an emergency scenario that requires electricity with little notice.
Each of these devices allows multiple devices to run at once, meaning you can continue with your regularly scheduled operations when necessary. This can work for multiple people, making sure the whole family has power when they need it most.
When the storm continues, you can take a look at Growatt’s solar generators. Pairing a portable power station with solar panels allows you to continue to produce and store electricity even after the stored power runs out. This can be a long-term and sustainable way to continue with your life when the power company isn’t taking care of the problem for you.
A power outage can last anywhere from a couple of minutes to a few weeks depending on what’s going on. Preparation is the key to these scenarios so you can be ready to continue on with your life as if nothing had happened at all.
Don’t leave it up to the power company anymore. Bring yourself into a position of control and store all the necessary power you need with the right portable power station.