There have been a number of power outages throughout the state of Michigan during the winter, and while northeast Michigan has not been as susceptible as other parts of the state, it’s received its fare share of outages.
When an outage is possible, Alpena Power Company prepares by communicating with their employees and making sure their equipment is ready to respond. When an outage does happen, they have a three step plan that includes assessment, planning, and repair. They assess the damages, plan on how they are going to clean up the area, and then carry out those repairs. The most dangerous kinds of weather damage they deal with are ice storms, as the excess weight causes trees to fall onto power lines.
“Outages can happen at any time, but major outages typically coincide with major weather events,” said Alpena Power Company President Ken Dragiewicz. “So when weather events are forecast, we communicate with our crews, make sure our employees, equipment and materials are ready to go to respond accordingly.”
Alpena Power Company has to prioritize when there’s an outage in order to respond to the most important parties as soon as they can.
“Things like hospitals, police stations, fire stations, emergency management centers, water, waste water; those are given priority due to the service to the public,” said Dragiewicz. “After that, we prioritize outages based on number of people affected, and the duration of the outage.”
When dealing with an outage, Alpena Power Company says to be prepared and have an emergency outage kit with food, water, and a flashlight.