Disasters most likely to put the lights out in your state

Spreading across more than three million square miles, the United States is the fourth largest country in the world. From the Pacific states and Great Plains to the Eastern seaboard, the United States offers its residents and visitors various cuisines, architectural styles and, sadly, natural disasters.

Let’s look at what types of disasters are more likely to occur across different parts of the country and how they can cause power outages.

Hurricanes occur most frequently hit along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The strong winds associated with hurricanes can bring down transmission or distribution lines and force power plant closures, leaving consumers without electricity for days, weeks, even months. While it didn’t reach hurricane strength, Tropical Storm Barry led to widespread flooding throughout Louisiana and left 114,000 without power in July. Disasters that are most likely to cause power outages

Earthquakes occur most frequently in the Pacific states, including Hawaii and Alaska, but can happen anywhere, at anytime. Not only can earthquakes damage roadways and buildings, but they can also cause a domino effect leading to fires, tsunamis, landslides, avalanches and power outages.  July’s earthquakes near Ridgecrest, CA left approximately 10,000 without power, with effects felt throughout California, west to Arizona and Nevada, and south into Baja Mexico.

Tornadoes occur most frequently across the Great Plains and can quickly escalate from threat to full-blown disaster. Tornadoes can threaten power plants and bring down transmission or distribution lines, causing power outages. In May, a tornado outbreak including two violent EF4 tornadoes devastated Ohio communities leaving thousands of residents without power, in some cases for days. 

Winter storms occur most frequently across the northern states of the Great Plains and the Eastern seaboard. Heavy snow and ice bring down tree branches onto power lines, leaving consumers without power. In April, a blizzard known as Winter Storm Wesley dropped up to 16 inches of snow in Wyoming, 25 inches in southern Minnesota, 30 inches in eastern South Dakota and 30 inches of in the Colorado Rockies and left over 89,000 across the Midwest without power.  

Wildfires occur most frequently across the Pacific states and Alaska. Wildfires bring down transmission or distribution lines and force power plant closures, leaving consumers without electricity. In addition, planned power outages often accompany high wildfire risk. California experienced its deadliest and most destructive wildfire seasons in 2017 and 2018. Local utility company PG&E began preventative outages last year – the first left 60,000 without power for four days. 

Heat waves occur most frequently across the Great Plains and the Eastern seaboard. Heat waves increase the usage of some power-hungry amenities including air conditioners, causing a surge in the demand for electricity. This surge in demand could result in blackouts. Temperatures topped 100 degrees in parts of the South and Midwest when a heat wave hit in early August. Texas electric utility ERCOT saw record demand for electricity, leading to requests that residents lessen usage in the late afternoon and early evening to prevent power outages. 

Three ways to protect and prepare your family for disaster
  • Check your insurance policy – disasters like flooding and earthquakes aren’t covered by traditional homeowner policies. 
  • Assemble an emergency prep kit for every member of your household, including pets. Keep a mini prep kit in your child’s backpack and additional supplies in your car. A basic emergency prep kit should include bottled water, non-perishable food, batteries and a flash light.  
  • While natural disasters vary across states, one thing doesn’t change: we all eventually lose power due to one of these events. Consider purchasing a home generator to keep your family and home safe and comfortable in the aftermath of a disaster. A home standby generator like the Cummins QuietConnect will automatically restore your power the moment it goes off, while a CumminsOnan portable generator is a good choice for families with basic power needs or minimal risk of power outage.

Find additional prep tips for every season and type of disaster from meteorologist Cheryl Nelson, Disaster Preparedness Advisor for Cummins, here. And visit homegenerators.cummins.com or to learn more about backup power options for your home, including criteria for determining whether a portable or standby generator is the better choice for your needs and an online calculator to help you understand how much power your family consumes.
 

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

Cummins backs up top sports destination Kigali Arena in Rwanda

Adem Ersoy, Project Engineer at Cummins Turkey's authorized distributor Mepa Energy, stands next to the standby power system at Kigali Arena.
Adem Ersoy, Project Engineer at Cummins Turkey's authorized distributor Mepa Energy, stands next to the standby power system at Kigali Arena.

Kigali Arena, the largest sports stadium in eastern Africa, is now open. Located just outside the Amahoro National Stadium in Remera, Rwanda, the 10,000-seat facility was inaugurated in August by Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Kigali ArenaThe arena is scheduled to host the inaugural Basketball Africa League inaugural semi-finals and finals in March 2020, and expected to host the 2021 FIBA Men’s Africa Basketball Championship after it was announced earlier this year that Rwanda will host the tournament. In addition to sporting events like basketball, volleyball and martial arts, it will also be a centre for concerts, conferences and exhibitions. The complex sits on 28,000 square metres of land and includes 13 cafeterias and restaurants, six changing rooms, two coaching staff rooms , a fitness centre and a media hall.

Summa Company of Turkey built the arena in only six months. The standby power system consists of three units of Cummins C1100D5B 0.4 kV generator sets, which are synchronized and commissioned. The three Cummins C1100D5B generator sets proves this capability by being able to start and synchronize with each other and take the full load at about 8-12 seconds. Cummins Turkey Dealer Mepa Energy has engineered, installed and commissioned the power system with daily fuel tanks, automatic replenishing system and sound attenuators.

Anisha George

As a Marketing Communications Specialist, Anisha supports marketing, communications and event management for Africa and Middle East regions. Prior to joining Cummins in 2011, she gained industry experience working in the event management field. [email protected] 

Powering the final frontier: A quest to return to the moon

Cummins India - moon mission

Earlier this summer, India attempted humankind's 39th soft landing attempt to the moon. The lander traveled more than 200,000 miles in an attempt to land on the moon's South Pole. 

Just 1.6 miles. That was the distance between India's Vikram moon lander and the moon before the communication with the lander was lost. But optimism and pride for the mission still abounds, as the orbiter was successfully deployed and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) plans to map the surface of earth's closest - and only - natural satellite. 

A mission filled with excitement and pride from the beginning

July 22, 2019 was a historic day for the country of India and Cummins Inc., as the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched its second successful mission, titled Chandrayaan-2, to the moon.  

In addition to the entire country of India watching Chandrayaan-2 exiting earth’s atmosphere with great pride, a team of Cummins employees were experiencing an additional feeling of accomplishment as they played a significant part in powering the entire launch. A specially engineered Cummins generator performed flawlessly to ensure the Chandrayaan-2 had the power to leave the earth.

Cummins has been powering the world for over 100 years but powering beyond our atmosphere was a challenge the company enthusiastically accepted. A few months back, Chandrashekhar Chougule, Senior General Manager of Technical Support at Cummins India, and Shantha Kumar, Business Development Manager at Cummins India, had embarked on solving a very complex problem of ensuring the Cummins C500D5P genset could perform under extreme temperatures with very limited ventilation. 

It was during the installation and commissioning the team realized the genset was going to be placed directly under the launchpad and was going to power the liftoff. The installation was also quite complex due to the need for continuous operation of the genset when the rocket is moved from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launchpad. The controller also needed to be integrated with a remote monitoring system that was part of the mission control center. This entire setup was also synchronized with two remotely installed C1250D5P 1250KVA gensets. 

The month of the launch, the Distribution segment team asked to place a team of people and a service van at the service site to respond immediately in case of any emergencies. Sunkiah, Vamsi and Christopher were the service engineers deputed to the site. They were on 24/7 standby for a few days prior to the launch as the ISRO went about their readiness actions for the launch. 

And when the liftoff happened, the Cummins C500D5P was more than up to the task. And when the entire nation cheered for the ISRO, Cummins India cheered both for ISRO and the Power Generation and DBU teams who defined Cummins’ role in the space exploration history of India.

To read similar stories follow Cummins on Facebook and connect on LinkedIn. To learn more about how Cummins is powering a world that’s “Always On,” visit our web page.

Think your friends and colleagues would like this content? Share on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Top five U.S. states with the longest power outages

Most Americans have lost their power at one point or another. Here are the top-five states with the longest average power outages, and a few power outage preparedness tips for you and your family. 

After a long day at the office, many Americans relax by watching TV… watching over 2.5 hours of TV to be exact 1. But imagine coming home to no power. How would you spend your free time? 

Being without power is a very real possibly for most Americans. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Electric Power Industry Report, every state in the U.S. experienced a power outage in 2017. While the average U.S. power outage lasts over seven hours, residents of the following five states experienced power outages lasting at least twice that long:

Top five states with longest power outages
The average duration of a power outage in the U.S. was seven-plus hours according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration

Maine: Maine led the nation in length and frequency of power outages 2, with average power outage lasting 40 hours. While severe weather, winter storms in Maine’s case, was the leading cause of these outages, the slower than expected pace of the local utility company to restore service caused a public outcry. 

Florida: It is said that wherever you are in Florida you are less than 60 miles away from ocean. While Floridians and visitors enjoy the sand, sea and sun, they also experience more hurricanes than any other state. In fact, about a quarter of all hurricanes that hit the U.S. Mainland hit Florida. In 2017, category 4 Hurricane Irma hit Cudjoe Key and left 7.7 million people in the state without power at some point. 

New Hampshire: Mount Washington peaks at 6,288 ft and offers breath taking scenes for viewers whether it is summer or winter. But if you plan to visit the Granite State in the winter, consider packing a flashlight and comfort items in case of a power outage. In October 2017, a winter storm left one third of New Hampshire without electricity for several hours to days 3

Georgia: With more than 10 million residents and one of world’s busiest airports, Georgia consumes more electricity than most other states and has more to lose if faced with power outages. Yet Georgia residents experienced an average of 17 hours without power in 2017, partially due to Hurricane Irma leaving more than a million residents in the dark. 

Vermont: Forests and snow, two things most of us imagine thinking of Vermont. Vermont gets lots of snow, more than 80 inches per year to be accurate 4, and is one of the most heavily forested states. A combination of dense forests and heavy snowfall makes falling tree limbs a key reason for power outages averaging 15 hours.

Preparedness is Key to Protecting Your Family and Home During a Power Outage

  1. Take inventory of items you need that require electricity, including security systems and medical devices. Speak to your medical profession about a back up plan for medical devices requiring electricity and medications requiring refrigeration. 
  2. Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by installing carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home and by operating portable generators outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. 
  3. Weather is the leading cause of power outages in the U.S. Sign up for local weather alerts and follow your local news providers to stay up-to-date on weather systems impacting your area. Take two minutes to watch preparation tips for every season and type of disaster from meteorologist Cheryl Nelson, Disaster Preparedness Advisor for Cummins.
  4. Create a disaster prep kit for each member of your family to ensure their safety and comfort during a power outage. A basic kit should include bottled water, non-perishable food and battery-powered flashlights. 
  5. Consider purchasing a home generator to ensure vital medical equipment and appliances like sump pumps stay on during a power outage.

A home standby generator like the Cummins Quiet Connect Series turns on automatically the moment an outage occurs to power your entire home or just select appliances, based on your power needs and budget. For families with basic power needs or minimal risk of power outage, a Cummins Onan portable generator may be the right choice. Use our online generator size calculator to understand how much power your family needs.

For more power outage safety tips, check out our weather prep tips page. And visit homegenerators.cummins.com to learn more about backup power options for your home, including criteria for determining whether a portable or standby generator is the right choice for your needs and an online calculator to help you understand how much power your family consumes. 

References: 
1 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2019, June 19). American Time Use Survey Summary. [Report]. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov
2 U.S. Energy Information Agency. (2018, Nov 30). Average U.S. electricity customer interruptions totaled nearly 8 hours in 2017. [Article]. Retrieved from https://www.eia.gov/
3 Tuohy, D. (2017, Nov 3). Top 5 Power Outages in New Hampshire. [Article]. Retrieved from https://www.nhpr.org/
4 National Weather Service. (n.d.). Historical Monthly Snowfall - Burlington, VT. [Data Table]. Retrieved from https://www.weather.gov/ 
 

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

Don’t be caught unprepared for a power outage

What would you do if you were without power for seven hours? A recent Cummins survey found that people spend time with family and friends, play games, read, nap, enjoy the quiet, or get productive. Many simply get frustrated. 

Being without power is a very real possibly for most Americans. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Electric Power Industry Report, every state in the U.S. experienced a power outage in 2017, with the average outage lasting over seven hours! 

How does your home state stack up against its neighbors? We’ve ranked every state by average power outage duration annually1

U.S. states ranked by length of power outages

Over 20 hours
1. Maine 
2. Florida

15 to 20 hours
3. New Hampshire 
4. Georgia

10 to 15 hours
5. Vermont
6. Michigan
7. Rhode Island
8. West Virginia

5 to 10 hours
9. Tennessee
10. Mississippi
11. Texas
12. Arkansas
13. Louisiana
14. South Carolina
15. Kansas
16. Alabama 
17. Oregon

Less than 5 hours
18. Idaho
19. Connecticut
20. Massachusetts
21. Oklahoma
22. Washington
23. Hawaii
24. Missouri
25. North Carolina
26. New York
27. Ohio
28. Colorado
29. Montana
30. Wyoming
31. Wisconsin
32. California
33. Indiana
34. Kentucky
35. Virginia
36. Pennsylvania
37. Delaware
38. Nebraska
39. Alaska
40. Utah
41. New Mexico
42. Minnesota
43. Illinois
44. Maryland
45. Iowa,
46. South Dakota
47. Arizona
48. New Jersey
49. North Dakota
50. Nevada

What causes the power outages? 

Severe weather is the leading cause of power outages in U.S., followed by vandalism, physical attacks and system operation issues. Changing weather patterns have brought an increasing number of severe weather events ranging from hurricanes and wildfires to winter storms and tornadoes. Hurricanes and wildfires bring down transmission or distribution lines and force power plant closures, leaving consumers without electricity. Heat waves increase the usage of some power-hungry amenities including air conditioners, causing a surge in the demand for electricity. This surge can overheat the grid or overload the supply, both can result in blackouts.  

How can you protect you and your family during these power outages?

Despite the preparedness hype that comes with each new season, a 2018 survey by Cummins found that most people (75%) wished they had been more prepared for severe weather and more than 60% wished they had backup power for their homes. Consider purchasing a whole house generator to ensure vital medical equipment and appliances like sump pumps stay on during a power outage. A home standby generator like Cummins Quiet Connect Series turns on automatically the moment an outage occurs and has the ability to power your entire home, including smart devices and entertainment systems. For families with basic power needs or minimal risk of power outage, a Cummins Onan portable generator may be the right choice. 

Find additional prep tips for every season and type of disaster from meteorologist Cheryl Nelson, Disaster Preparedness Advisor for Cummins, here. And visit homegenerators.cummins.com to learn more about backup power options for your home, including criteria for determining whether a portable or standby generator is the better choice for your needs and an online calculator to help you understand how much power your family consumes. 

References: 
1 U.S. Energy Information Administration. [July 31, 2019]. Annual Electric Power Industry Report for 2017. Retrieved from https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861/ 

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

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