Power Outage Guide: Atlantic County, New Jersey

Power Outage Resources For Atlantic County

A power outage can happen at any time in Atlantic County, New Jersey. There is little warning when they will happen and there is no set time when power will be restored. In this power outage guide, we will explain why you have interruption of service, how long they normally last and how to make the most of a power failure. 

 

If you are experiencing a power failure, you can report an outage here.

 

Let’s dive in.

Contents

  1. What causes power outages
  2. When are most power outages
  3. How long do power outages last
  4. Preparing for a power outage
  5. Coping with a power outage in summer
  6. Dealing with a power outage in winter
  7. Ways to power a home during a power outage
  8. Power outage resources
Engineering check working on high-voltage tower on after tornado

What causes power outages in Atlantic County, NJ

Storms are the number one reason for failure of electrical service in Atlantic County. Though most people associate summer storms with power outages, a good deal of them happens in the fall and winter months.

 

When you think about power failure causes, your first thoughts are of weather events such as hurricanes, strong winds, ice or snowstorms. Power outages main contributor is by storms, but other acts of nature cause disruptions, as well. 

 

Animals like squirrels and birds account for a small portion of interruptions of electricity.  It is estimated over 15,000 outages a year come from squirrels alone. As long as there are animals that mess with electric equipment, linemen will have power to restore.

 

Check out the squirrel related power outage maps at Cyber Squirrel. https://cybersquirrel1.com/ 

 

Other reasons for power failure are lightning, car accidents and even rain can get into the wiring if the insulation is cracked. 

 

Remember North Atlantic hurricane season is, June 1 to Nov. 30.

Atlantic City Electric Power Outage Map Southern New Jersey

How long do power outages last?

Severe weather and other unpredictable events occasionally hit Atlantic County, causing damage to electrical equipment. This disrupts the power flow to homes and businesses in the affected areas. Some black outs are short but others can stretch for hours or days and pose significant health and safety risks. 

 

You can figure power outages to last less than 4 hours in Atlantic County as crews normally get power restored in 1-2 hours. The biggest fear is not knowing when the power will be restored

 

For Atlantic City Electric customers they can view the outage map to get a good idea of when their electricity will come back on.

 

Factors that affect electric restoration times:

 

  • Weather
  • Accessibility to damaged areas. Not all power lines are near a road.
  • Coordination with other agencies working on the storm restoration. Like public works and tree removal companies.
  • Powerline crews may discover more problems that require additional time, equipment and/or manpower

 

The power companies understand that power failure means more to some than others. People with medical conditions that need electricity during a prolonged outage should seek out a place that has a backup power system or go to an area that is not affected by the loss of power.

 

Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program

Call 1-800-642-3780 to enroll in our Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program and ensure that we have a current address and telephone number for the individual with life-support equipment.


Download the New Jersey Hurricane Survival Guide https://www.atlantic-county.org/documents/oep/prepare/070214_hurricane_survival_guide.pdf

How Atlantic City Electric Restores Power

Brother and sister reading book under a blanket
uncooked foods in carton box prepared for disaster emergency conditions

How to preparing for a power failure.

Preparing for a power outage starts with taking an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity. From lights to your smartphone plan on charging batteries and other alternative power sources such as a portable charger or power bank. Have flashlights for every household member with extra batteries. Candles are not recommended because of the chance for a fire, but they are good to have as a backup should the outage last longer than your batteries.

 

Medical Conditions Preparedness

Plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored without refrigeration and get specific guidance for any medications or equipment that are critical for life. In these conditions know where the closest building with backup power is. This is normally a government building or hospital.

 

Contact the Offices of Emergency Management in Atlantic County to find out more information.

 

Food for Prolonged Outages

It goes without saying to keep your refrigerator and freezer closed during a power failure to keep the cold air in for as long as possible to keep food from going bad. Have non-perishable food stored away such as canned tuna, peanut butter, canned fruit, etc. 

 

Water Needs for Emergency Power Loss

A good rule of thumb is to have 3 to 5 gallons of water stored for each person in your household, don’t forget to include pets. One thing you can do if you get water from the water company is fill your bathtub with water when the power first goes out. Fill it with hot water as you will not have any hot water until power comes back on regardless if your water heater is gas or electric.



Safety Systems During an Electricity Outage

Having battery powered smoke, fire and CO2 detectors can warn you of danger, when a hard wired system stops working during the blackout.

 

Generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors. Never use a gas stove or oven to heat your home; they give off dangerous gasses. Turn off or disconnect appliances, and electronics. Power may return with momentary surges or spikes that can cause damage.

 

If you decide to use a portable generator for any reason during a power outage, follow these guidelines. https://www.energy.gov/ceser/emergency-preparedness/community-guidelines-energy-emergencies/using-backup-generators 



Other things to consider for prolonged outages.

 

A power outage may:

  • Disrupt communications, water and transportation.
  • Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks and other services.
  • Cause food spoilage and water contamination.
  • Prevent use of medical devices.
pretty woman with hand fan and handsome man with newspaper suffering from heat at home

Coping with no electricity in the summer.

Power demand during hot summer weather can overload electrical systems. A power outage during the hot summer months is a real threat worth preparing for. Losing electrical power in the heat of summer is not only uncomfortable but can also be deadly.

Like the power outage from a tropical storm that happened in August 2020. 

Items you will need and things to do for a summer power outage.

  • Battery powered fans and spare batteries. 
  • Battery bank to charge small electronics.
  • Car charging cable for battery bank and smartphone.
  • During the summer keep a block of ice in the freezer in addition to cubed ice.
  • Fill the tub with cool water if you have city water and not well pumped water.
  • Close windows and pull shade or blinds down to block out the sun. 
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible.
  • Have outdoor cook stoves and grilles ready with the proper fuel needed for a week.
  • Relax and do less.

Remember to call your electric utility immediately to report the outage. · Dress in loose, lightweight clothing and stay on the coolest, lowest level of your home. If you have a cell door inside your home, open it to let the geo-thermal cooled air flow up.

If you can afford to buy a portable solar panel power station, it might be a good idea. Models from Goal Zero or Jackery are quite common these days. And they make dealing with a summer power outage bearable.

Truck cleaning road in winter

Dealing with an electrical failure in the winter.

Winter storms are a threat to electrical service when snow and ice buildup on power lines and tree. The weight of the snow and ice can cause wires to sag and break. Tree limbs also become heavy with snow and ice causing them to fall into or touch power lines.

Nearly everything in our home relies on electricity, so before the next ice storm knocks out the power, try these tips.

 

  • Stock up on batteries – Darkness is longer in the winter.
  • Check to make sure flashlights and radios work. Yeah, radios.
  • Get a tank of gas for your vehicles and charge up your electric cars.
  • Keep your landline. Although not used too much today, a landline is great in emergencies.
  • Have a backup heat source. Keeping a kerosene heater and fresh kerosene handy to keep your family warm.
  • Have 5 gallons of water stocked away for every person and critter in your home.
  • Have a cooler ready to put food outside. When the temp outside is 35 degrees or lower you can keep your foods fresh in a cooler. 
  • Stock up on perishables. Crackers and canned goods. You can even get powdered milk to go with your supply of water to have a bowl of cereal.
  • Have extra blankets ready and a first aid kit out, ready for use.
  • Shut off your water main and open your faucets. This will keep your pipes from freezing when the furnace goes out.
  • Have a battery bank to charge your smartphones and tablets. 
  • Check on the elderly.

 

Home Generator Installation.

Powering a home during a power outage.

Modern technology has made home backup electricity a trending thing. You can have a standby power system for your home to do many things, including running your entire home like the power was still running from the grid. Or you could have a system that only provides the basics. Some are solar stored power and others run off of gas or diesel. 

Small solar battery banks

With a small solar panel you can generate power and have it stored in a small battery bank. Over the years these battery banks have increased in capacity and can run quite a few large items like refrigerators and freezers and power hungry microwaves for heating up that canned chili. 

Top brands of solar battery banks are Goal Zero and Jackery. You can also get a Dometic DC frig/freezer combo to keep perishables from spoiling and drinking water cool in the summer months.

Goal Zero battery bank for power outage
Photo Credit Goal Zero
Goal Zero solar battery generators

Portable Generators

These gas or propane fueled portable electricity generators are life savers in certain situations. Though not as good or safe as a backup generator that is hooked into your service panel, portable generators will get you through when the power is shut down.

Some models are Honda, Generac and Champion. The power wattage is anywhere from 1000 watts up to 8,000 watts or more. Some models you can chain together to increase the power output. Make sure these generators are outside of the home and away from any windows, doors or ventilation. You do not want any CO2 getting back into the house. No matter if you run a generator or not, a smoke, fire and CO2 detector with battery backup is mandatory for you and your family’s safety.

Honda portable generator with inverter for power failures.
Photo Creidt Honda

Natural Gas, Propane and Diesel Permanent Home or Business Generators

When most people think of whole home generators, Generac comes to mind. They are the nation’s leading home generator company. They have sizes that run the essentials like their 7 kilo watt generator up to the 28 KW which is more than enough to run everything in the average home. Their most popular model is the 22-24 kilowatt models.

Kohler is another popular brand of generator. Both brands of home generators run on propane or natural gas. Some models (normally larger ones) run on diesel fuel.

Generac whole home generators for power outages. backup home generators

Solar Generators

Solar powered generators are not what you think. They are generators at all but battery storage systems. When your home’s solar panels are producing power, it sends it back to the grid. Well before that power is sent to the grid, it is energizing your solar generator, which is a large battery bank. So when the grid goes down, your home pulls electricity from that battery bank.

Generac PWRCell and Tesla Powerwall Sunrun are two of the most popular choices on the market. And for New Jersey Tesla has what is called Bright Box. If you are thinking about solar backup power for your home, this is the system for you.  

Tesla Powerwall Sunrun Generators
Credit Tesla Powerwall

Power Outage and Emergency Resources in Atlantic County, New Jersey.

Current Outages | Atlantic City Electric 

https://www.atlanticcityelectric.com/Outages/CheckOutageStatus/Pages/default.aspx 

 

PSE&G

https://nj.pseg.com/outageandgasleaks/duringanoutage/stayupdatedaboutoutages

 

Office of Emergency Preparedness – Department of Public Safety

https://www.atlantic-county.org/oep/

 

National Weather Service

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/mdl/etsurge/index.php?page=map&region=me 

 

Southern Shore Chapter of the American Red Cross (includes Atlantic County)

http://www.redcross.org/nj/pleasantville 

 

ReadyAtlantic

https://www.readyatlantic.org/

 

Emergency Management – City of Absecon

https://www.abseconnj.gov/index.php/departments/public-safety/emergency-management 

 

Office of Emergency Management – City of Atlantic City

https://www.acnj.gov/Departments/office-of-emergency-management

 

Office of Emergency Management – Official Brigantine

https://brigantinebeach.org/municipal/departments/office-of-emergency-management/ 

 

Atlantic County Services – Buena Vista Township

https://buenavistanj.com/county-services/ 

 

Office of Emergency Management – Township of Egg Harbor, NJ

https://www.ehtgov.org/government/boards/emergency_management/index.php 

 

Galloway Township Municipal Government

https://www.gtnj.org/index.php/news 

 

OEM – Hamilton Township

https://www.townshipofhamilton.com/oem 

 

Office of Emergency Management – Town of Hammonton

https://townofhammonton.org/office-of-emergency-management/

 

Emergency Management-The City of Linwood, New Jersey

http://www.linwoodcity.org/services/oem.asp 

 

Office of Emergency Management – Borough of Longport

https://www.longportnj.gov/OEM/index.html

 

Office of Emergency Management – Northfield

https://www.cityofnorthfield.org/services/oem.asp

 

Office of Emergency Management (OEM) | Margate NJ

https://www.margate-nj.com/office-of-emergency-management-oem 

 

Emergency Management Coordinator – The Township of Mullica

https://www.mullicatownship.org/departments/public-safety/emergency-management-coordinator/ 

 

Flood Protection Information – City of Pleasantville, NJ

https://www.pleasantville-nj.org/flood-information/emergency-information.asp

 

Emergency Information – City of Somers Point, New Jersey

http://www.somerspointgov.org/flood/emergency-information.asp

Absecon
Atlantic City
Brigantine
Buena
Corbin City
Egg Harbor Township
Estell Manor

Folsom
Galloway Township
Hamilton Township
Hammonton Township
Linwood
Longport
Margate City

Mullica
Northfield
Pleasantville
Port Republic
Somers Point
Ventnor City
Weymouth

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