How Long Does a Power Outage Last?

As a general rule, power outages usually last only a few minutes, but some can last for days or even weeks. Although this seems like a very broad time frame, many factors can affect the speed at which your power will be restored. You might be able to estimate the time of an outage based on the following factors if you know your utility company well:
1. What Caused the Power Outage
It is almost certain that the cause of the power outage will affect how long it takes to restore power.
In some cases, a blackout caused by severe weather or a natural disaster can last for several days or even months. Utility workers can fix a minor incident, such as a falling power line, in about 2-3 hours.
Power poles may be down for a day or more before the utility company has them back up and running. A serious power plant shutdown could leave you without power for up to a week. When a plant explosion or incident causes a shutdown, power is brought onto the grid to compensate for the lack of electricity.
2. Assessing the Damage
Utility workers sometimes have trouble finding out what and where the problem is. Problems that occur below ground can take much longer to diagnose than problems that occur above ground in situations where cables have been ‘underground’. Standard power cables can sometimes be repaired in hours, whereas underground wires can sometimes take weeks to repair.
lineperson fixing a power line
3. The Damage in Your Area
Following a storm or disaster, utility providers must carry out a series of processes to restore power to the greatest amount of people in the shortest time. After evaluating the damage, substations and priority areas like hospitals are worked on first before repair teams begin bringing back electricity for customers. Normally, those closer to transmission lines will be reconnected quicker than those further away. If there is major destruction in your area, you may have to wait longer if only a small number of people are impacted.
4. Available Resources
In the case of natural disasters, where the damage is widespread, utility workers may also be spread thin. Additionally, cities or urban areas likely have more workers and appliances on hand to fix outages quickly. Rural and developing countries may have delays in repairs due to a lack of resources and skilled workers.
5. How to Fix the Damage
Physical damage requires a manual repair, which takes much more time. Before fully restoring power, lineworkers need to perform tests that may cause power trips and overloads, which extends the repair process even further.
6. Long-term Issues
A blackout caused by a grid overload takes more than just a fix. In order to avoid extended outages, utility companies arrange periodic rolling blackouts while these more significant grid issues are addressed. In this situation, customers will still experience an outage, but for a short, fixed time of a few hours. Rolling blackouts are usually announced in advance so customers can prepare.
Prepare for Short & Extended Outages
Whether you experience winter storms every year or live outside the urban sprawl, power outages can strike at any time. A portable power station can keep your home running smoothly and keep your family safe. During an outage, an EcoFlow DELTA Series portable power station can provide you with large capacities and the power to power high-wattage appliances:
If the power or gas is out, you can still cook your family meals with a microwave or hot plate. Keep your home warm with heaters or electric blankets, and don’t forget to charge your mobile phone and laptop. A DELTA Pro keeps your refrigerator or chest freezer running for around a day so that you won’t lose groceries or frozen food.
Although gas generators remain comparatively widespread, they have their downsides, particularly during a natural catastrophe. Portable power stations, however, tend to be less limited. These things do not require any fumes or gas to be stored away, so you can use them inside your home even while a hurricane is raging. Setting up an EcoFlow station ahead of time guarantees that it will always be ready when you need it. Recharging these powerhouses is possible with an AC outlet at home, solar panels or if you have the DELTA Pro model – from an EV charging station or Smart Generator. And even without electricity, you can take out some portable solar panels to quickly recharge the battery pack.
Your portable power station will keep all your home essentials running even during an hour-long outage.