What is a Blackout?


Not everyone has experienced a blackout (a total loss of power in a certain area for more than five minutes) in their lifetime. One reason is that certain areas tend to have blackouts more than others due to extreme weather, which Georgia is no stranger to. So, people who live in calmer parts of the nation may never experience a power outage, while others may experience them regularly depending on where they live.

“Severe weather is the leading cause of power outages in the United States. Between 2003 and 2012, an estimated 679 widespread power outages occurred due to severe weather. Power outages close schools shut down businesses and impede emergency services, costing the economy billions of dollars and disrupting the lives of millions of Americans. The resilience of the U.S. electric grid is a key part of the nation’s defense against severe weather and remains an important focus of President Obama’s administration,” according to energy.gov.

Energy.gov isn’t the only agency to cite weather as the major cause of blackouts. “The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) cites extreme weather events as the major culprit behind this trend. In fact, 9 of the top 10 most significant U.S. blackouts in 2017 were weather-related. The unprecedented weather events that swept across the nation in 2018 and 2019 are also telling – Florida’s Hurricane Michael, California’s Camp Fire, and the Midwest’s polar vortex, just to name a few. As extreme weather events escalate and put pressure on our aging and vulnerable grid, prolonged grid outages follow,” according to Bloom Energy.

What Are the Causes of Power Outages?

Weather isn’t the only reason why we have blackouts. Some parts of the power grid in the United States is old and out of date; therefore, if it were replaced, it would not only withstand severe weather, but it could better protect the American people against a cyber-attack.

Other causes of power outages include:

  • An equipment failure at a power generating station
  • Damage to the transmission lines (often because of high winds or a storm)
  • An overloaded system
  • An intentional power shutdown

To learn how to protect yourself during a power outage, read this information from the Department of Homeland Security. For all of your electrical needs, contact Lightning Bug Electric to schedule a service call!

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