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Nixle in Action: Preparing for a Power Outage

Over the past decade, the amount of power outages in the United States has increased. A recent Federal study shared that the U.S. electric grid loses power 285% more often than it did 30 years ago. [1] These surprising numbers are mainly attributed to aging infrastructure, a growing population, and more severe weather patterns. On top of the financial burden that this has on business, resident’s daily lives are affected by these unexpected failures.

What can residents do to be best prepared in the case of a power outage? One of the key elements in being prepared is having a line of communication. During a power outage, watching the news for information from local officials is not an option. Having a system to send out a mass text or email notification is a huge advantage when traditional means of communication are cut off. During a power outage, residents are often left in the dark about how long the power will be out for, what was the cause, and if the problem is being solved. By using Nixle, police departments and other officials can keep a line of communication with residents to update them on the progress of the outage.

Walnut Creek Police Department, a Nixle user, experienced a large-scale power outage. As seen in the image below, they were able to use Nixle to send out an advisory to residents to give them information on the incident. Being stuck without power can be frustrating, especially when you have no information about what caused it.

NIA Power Outage 1

In Warren, NJ, about 1,000 residents lost power. The Township sent out a Nixle alert to residents informing them that the power outage was due to a transformer issue and the problem was being fixed.[1] Even if a resident received the text that hadn’t lost their power, they would be aware of the situation and more cautious.

Power outages aren’t always unexpected events. In communities where harsh weather is common, power outages are more frequent. The east coast has experienced especially harsh weather this winter that caused issues with infrastructure. In New Jersey, many communities experienced power outages due to blizzards.[1] When power lines went down residents were alerted via Nixle and social media to avoid those areas. Having this reliable source of communication helped to keep residents safe as well as informed of their surroundings.

Whether expected or not, power outages are an increasing event across the United States that have a large impact on daily routines. Nixle alerts are a valuable resource when sharing important information with the community during difficult times. Having the necessary information to avoid unsafe areas or knowing what to expect can make a large difference for a resident. Safety is always a high priority for communities and Nixle can help to ensure that.

To sign up for your community’s Nixle messages, text your zip code to 888-777!

[1] http://patch.com/new-jersey/warren/power-outage-reported-warren-0

[2] http://energy.gov/oe/downloads/2013-reliability-markets-peer-review-day-1-presentations

[3] http://www.app.com/story/weather/stormwatch/2016/01/24/blizzard-2016-beach-haven-firefighter-clean-up-flood/79260662/

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