Yonah Substation

How Power is Restored

Hurricanes, ice storms, and tornadoes. HEMC members have seen them all in the last few years. And with such severe weather comes power outages. Restoring power after a major outage is a big job that involves much more than simply throwing a switch or removing a tree from a line.

The main goal is to restore power safely to the greatest number of members in the shortest time possible.

The major cause of outages is damage caused by fallen trees. That’s why your electric cooperative has an ongoing right-of-way maintenance program.

Report your outage to the cooperative office. Employees or response services use every available phone line to receive your outage reports. Remember that a major outage can affect thousands of other members. Your cooperative appreciates your patience.

The steps below explain how power typically is restored after a major disaster, such as a hurricane or tornado. While power restoration priorities may differ from co-op to co-op, electric system repairs generally follow a plan similar to the one here.

During a major outage, other cooperatives are prepared to help. They send line crews to assist with restoring power.

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 HEMC before an emergency arises. When a significant outage occurs, we will fix your problem as quickly as possible, or will call to let you know to seek shelter elsewhere.


Shows the 5 steps of power restoration.
The 5 steps of power restoration.

Members themselves (not the co-op) are responsible for damage to the service installation on the building. Your coop can’t fix this. Call a licensed electrician.

Reprinted from Carolina Country (N.C. Association of Electric Cooperatives) with minor changes.