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American Power Grid Facing Mass Blackouts This Winter

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Heads up to all prepared families from coast to coast: America’s power grid faces an imminent threat this winter, one that could leave you and your family out in the cold, both literally and figuratively. NERC, an energy regulation body in the United States, has issued a dire warning about the state of the electricity grid. Their warning should serve as a guide to action for all families looking to prepare themselves for power grid-related disasters. 

Their warning is stark, stunning, and one that’s to be ignored at your own peril. NERC is predicting an elevated risk of power failure during severe winter storms and even prolonged cold naps. That’s because of the increased demand for power on an increasingly fragile and outdated national power grid. 

Don’t think you’re in the clear where you live, because you’re almost certainly not. The risk of massive power failure spans nearly the entire Eastern two-thirds of the United States, with the Southeast and Upstate New York standing as the only exceptions. 

Mark Olson, NERC’s manager of reliability assessments, emphasized the impact of extreme cold events on electricity demand. The increasing use of intermittent resources like solar generation adds complexity and uncertainty to load forecasting, making it increasingly difficult for power companies to even anticipate what kinds of power loads they’re going to be facing. That means that when a surge does happen thanks to extreme weather conditions, many power companies simply won’t be prepared to meet the spike in demand. 

The message is crystal clear: you need to start getting prepared for a cold winter with regional blackouts right now. Indeed, it was only last December that Winter Storm Elliot left the Southeast and New England without power due to extreme temperatures. It wasn’t the wind that took out the power grid – just the cold. Over 60% of the U.S. population faced winter storm advisories last year, with power outages rippling up and down the East Coast as a result. 

And who can forget the “bomb cyclone” that struck Texas in 2021, nearly bringing the state’s energy grid to a halt? Over 4.5 million people were left powerless, some for days.

Another recent report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission paints a grim picture of what to expect this coming winter: 18% of the country’s electricity generation failed during the storm. 

Winter is coming, and it’s expected to be more extreme this year due to El Niño patterns in the Pacific. While the central and eastern U.S. prepares for a colder, snowier winter, parts of New England and the Great Lakes may see less snow.

This is why it’s necessary to have a generator of your own and other backup power sources around your house. If your house requires electricity to heat itself, you’re also going to need some way to heat your house that doesn’t require the power grid. Failure to do so can be deadly, but even in a best-case scenario can leave your family very uncomfortable, maybe even for weeks at a time. 

Further, you should have hard cash on hand. This is because if the power goes out, there is likely not going to be any way to process electronic payments like credit cards, or any way to get cash out of an ATM.

With just a couple of simple steps, you can be ready for whatever this winter has to throw at you.

How is your family getting ready for a temporary or permanent power grid outage? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Tags: , , , Last modified: January 8, 2024
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