Many of us rely on the power grid of the United States to keep us functioning. We’re using city-provided power everywhere you look – it powers up our computers, it keeps medical equipment running, we use it to keep the lights on, and it’s even used to warm up your leftovers through your microwave or toaster oven. However, it’s important to know what to do if that power goes out one day. Whether it’s for a single day, a week or even as long as a month, power outages can be extremely detrimental to our day-to-day lives. Fortunately, these types of outages don’t happen very often. But it does lead us to wonder, how secure is the American power grid?
Who Is Responsible for Maintaining the Power Grid?
Keeping the American power grid secure is the job of the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. These organizations are in place to make sure that the power stays on, and that the energy provided is secure, resilient and reliable. The Department of Energy is also responsible for maintaining the critical infrastructure of our power grid as well as identifying potential vulnerabilities and preventing incidents. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, meanwhile, regulates wholesale electricity markets and reviews and approves electric reliability standards.
It’s good to have organizations making sure that the power stays running, but this doesn’t mean that it always does. The United States power grid is under constant risk due to dangers as extreme as cybersecurity attacks as well as dangers as commonplace as winter storms and hurricanes. These types of events can shut off power for millions, leaving us without so many of the necessities and comforts that we rely on in our day-to-day lives. You may be familiar with the frequent power outages that are caused by hurricanes every year. These types of storms can damage critical infrastructure that can take weeks and sometimes even months to fix.
Take Precautions to Keep Your Power On
Even if you don’t live in a location that’s affected by hurricanes, it’s still important to take precautions in case the power ever goes out. Most states in the United States are at some type of risk of environmental disaster, whether that’s a hurricane, snowstorm, flash flood, forest fire or other event. If these disasters come in contact with your electric grid, your power will go out.
However, it doesn’t have to. With external generators and power supplies, you can keep the electricity running for a long time after the power goes out. All it takes is a generator or a battery connected to a power inverter, and you can power up your appliances, tools, devices and other electronics with ease. These types of setups can be depended on for varying amounts of time, depending on the size and output of your batteries or generator, as well as how frequently you have your inverter running power into your electronics.
It’s also worth considering external solar panel arrays in the event that the power goes out for an extended amount of time. Having solar panels affixed to your home or business is a great way to ensure that you won’t have to rely on depleting power from gas-powered generators or batteries to keep the lights on. By combining a solar panel array with a generator, you can have consistent energy output for years.
Always Be Prepared
So, while the U.S. power grid might seem stable and reliable most of the time, it’s always worth being prepared in the event of a catastrophe, because disasters do happen. Don’t be caught without power when they do; opt for a generator or battery-powered inverter to keep your lights and appliances running.
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