I was pondering some data provided by Generac Power Systems about power outages and was astounded to find out there are so many various causes for an outage.  Some of the causes listed were what you might expect, strong storms, high winds and ice/snow.  What I didn’t expect or more likely I just didn’t think about were any other causes.  Equipment failure and a special category that is well surprising, Unknown Causes.

The entire first quarter of 2012 was tracked…and the results were 24% caused by strong storms, 16% high winds, 13% snow/ice storms, 12% equipment failure, the balance of the pie…a whopping 13% were caused by unknown.

Power Outage Types

I suppose unknown could be animals getting into equipment, human error, traffic accidents and other such events, however most of these are listed individually on the graph. So unknown, is… well unknown, and maybe 13% doesn’t sound like that much, but let’s get another perspective.

Generac Power Systems is a large corporation, with millions of customers worldwide, these are the results from monitoring power outages for North America, the data provides that 5,771,540 people were affected by 2062 power outages during the first quarter of 2012.  13% is 750,300 people, that’s more than ten times the number of people that live in my home town.


Would you want this as your only source of light?

The statistics also include the average duration of a power outage, most experienced 2 – 140 hours without any electricity.  For myself a 140 hour power outage would be at the very least an inconvenience bordering on downright bothersome.  The point I’m getting at is there is no way to know when or for how long an outage could occur and there is an extremely good chance you will experience a power outage that will ruin your day or several of them. Are you ready?

I’m ready, with a generator and a plan in case my town is the next area where a power outage occurs, and especially if it last 1600 hours, the longest outage documented in the data.  Remember this is just the first quarter of 2012.  Without a storm in sight a power outage could happen to you, Ready or Not.