Capital Electric talks powering up after a storm


Lights out? Members want to know why and when they’ll be back on. Knowing ahead of time how power is restored can help members know what to expect and manage some of their uncertainty.

Wes Engbrecht took the power restoration story to the Bismarck Rotary Club on behalf of Capital Electric Cooperative in December. He is the manager of communications for the distribution cooperative that serves in and around North Dakota’s capital city.

He explained to the group that the cooperative’s goal is simple: restore power safely to the greatest number of people in the shortest time possible. Watch the video to hear Engbrecht explain the process in more detail.

If you find yourself in the dark at home, follow these steps to stay safe during a power outage:

  • Before calling your cooperative to report an outage, first check to see if your home’s circuit panel or fuse box hasn’t tripped or blown a fuse. This can also cause a power failure. If tripped, reset the breaker or replace the blown fuse.
  • If the power is out in your entire neighborhood, call your cooperative to report the outage.
  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary appliances and electrical equipment. When power is restored, turn on items one at a time.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. An unopened refrigerator keeps food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer keeps food cool for about 48 hours.
  • Individual households may receive special attention if loss of electricity affects life support systems or poses another immediate danger. If you or a family member depends on life support, call your cooperative before a power outage happens.

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