Hurricane Preparedness Week reminds us to act now to be prepared

Hurricane Preparedness Week is recognized nationally this year between May 9 and 15. It’s hard to believe that June is fast approaching, and with the turn of the month comes the official start of hurricane season.

June through November is the time of year when Texans are at the greatest risk for hurricanes.   According to the National Weather Service, on average, 6 out of 12 tropical storms formed over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or the Gulf of Mexico become hurricanes. Typically, hurricanes may not make it to San Antonio, but heavy rainfall and strong winds are always possible.

Now is the time to make sure you’re prepared by organizing a safety kit. suggests the following: 

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight and battery powered LED lights for home use
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with car and wall chargers plus portable power banks

Our goal is to provide you and our community Reliable power. Unfortunately, when severe weather hits our area, power outages can occur. Here are some things you should do in case you find yourself without electricity.

  • Update alert preferences through Manage My Account to stay informed on the status of your power outage.
  • Be prepared. Keep cell phones, battery-powered LED lights, flashlights, batteries, and other essential items available for an unexpected power outage.
  • Plan for where you will go should you have an extended outage, especially if you rely on medical equipment or have special health conditions.
  • Stay informed. Check our outage map for current outage updates. Also, follow our Facebook and Twitter sites for status updates. If possible, seek local TV or radio station weather reports.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them to CPS Energy. Do NOT attempt to move or drive over them. Treat them as if they are live. Even in an outage, power lines may still have an electrical current running through them.
    • If your home or business is flooded, never enter standing water unless you’re sure the main power has been shut off.
  • Unplug electrical equipment such as stereos, TVs, and computer equipment to help protect them from power surges during power restoration.
  • Turn off breakers to larger items such as water heaters, air conditioning/heating units to reduce the risk of overloading the electrical grid as power is restored, delaying power restoration efforts. And, remember to turn them back on after you’re notified power has been restored.
  • Turn around, don’t drown. Whenever you come to a flooded road, whether driving or walking, avoid the area and move to safer ground. Do not drive around barriers!
  • Keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible. Refrigerated food should be safe if power is out no more than 4 hours.  
    • If it looks like the power outage will be for more than 2-4 hours, pack perishable items (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, and leftovers) into a cooler surrounded by ice. Discard any perishable foods that have been above 40 °F for more than 2 hours. See How to Keep Food Safe (FDA).
  • Do NOT attempt to assist emergency and utility crews. Electricity can be dangerous. If you really want to help with recovery and clean-up efforts, contact your local Red Cross to see where help is most needed.
  • If your neighbors have power and you do not, check your breakers. Tripped breakers account for 15% of our service calls.

CPS Energy continuously monitors the weather and plans accordingly to ensure that crews, supplies and resources are available to respond to power outages. Our crews work nonstop until all our customers have been restored.  As is industry practice, CPS Energy first restores services to those circuits with a greater number of customers affected. By doing this, we can turn on hundreds, if not thousands, of customers at a time.

As a reminder, when crews are responding to power outages, we sometimes are hindered by road conditions and our ability to access our equipment due to fallen trees or other debris. We ask our customers to please be patient as we work through these challenges to turn your lights back on. If you see our crews working near the roadways, keep both their and your safety in mind, Move Over or Slow Down.

Take a moment during this Hurricane Preparedness Week to make sure you and your family are as prepared as possible for severe storms and possible power outages. Then, be sure to be prepared year-round because you never know when severe weather may hit.

John Moreno

John is part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.