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Outage maps are beneficial

Chris Meyers

There is one thing that both consumers and utilities don’t like: power outages. Unfortunately, outages do happen, and they occur for a variety of reasons, such as weather-related, animal related—including snakes and birds—and equipment failure. Your local electric cooperative strives to reduce as many of these causes as possible, but in some cases, options are limited.

Electric co-ops make service reliability a top priority. However, when outages do occur, line crews respond as quickly and as safely as possible in order to restore electric service. Each and every outage matters, whether it’s a residential, commercial, or industrial account.

Nearly all our OAEC member cooperatives have their own local area outage maps that are available to their member-consumers online, via a website link. About four years ago, we here at OAEC chose to invest in technology that consolidated our local co-op outage reports into one “statewide” outage map for our members. The result has been incredibly well-received and proven useful to emergency responders and media professionals; in fact, it’s one of our OAEC website’s most commonly viewed page: https://outages.oaec.coop/outages/maps

Last year, OAEC chose to participate in another outage mapping service, this time at the national level. National Outages and Mutual Aid, or “NOMA,” displays electric cooperative outages on a regional and national level. Participation in this technology allows co-ops from Oklahoma to come to the aid of sister cooperatives in other states with mutual aid in a quicker and more efficient manner. The NOMA website can be viewed at: https://nationaloutages.com

Technology is ever-present in our lives today. Our goal will always be to apply technology in useful ways. Statewide and national outage maps do just that.