How power companies are preparing for the winter storm

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the winter storm makes it way through Texas in the next couple of days, ERCOT–the company that manages to flow of electric power to the state of Texas–is taking the necessary steps to make sure the state has enough power.

ERCOT says it has generators to review current fuel supplies as well as implement winter weatherization procedures. The company is also working with transmission operators to minimize outages that could impact generation.

With 75 percent of the state expected to experience freezing temperatures come Tuesday, ERCOT expects power demand to increase. As of 1 p.m. Monday, the current demand on the grid was 38,178 megawatts. The state’s actual capacity is currently close to 60,000 megawatts.

According to ERCOT, the all-time peak demand (62,885 MW) for the month of January occurred on Jan. 3 of this year between 7 and 8 a.m. The all-time peak demand record (57,265 MW) for the month of February occurred on Feb. 10, 2011, between 7 and 8 a.m.

Current forecasts don’t indicate that this winter storm will bring down power lines in Central Texas, it’s always good to know what to do when your home loses power.

The links below will take you to individual power providers for information related to outages.

What to do when your power goes out

The Red Cross has some helpful tips to follow in the event of a power outage:

  • Use flashlights NOT  candles
  • Be aware of carbon monoxide dangers if you use a generator

FOOD SAFETY

Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible; you want to keep as much cold air inside as you can. A refrigerator can keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours if the door remains closed.

Eat perishable foods from your fridge first, then move on to non-perishable floods.Electrical Safety

  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances
  • Turn off your air conditioning system
  • Leave one light turned on so you know when power comes back on

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