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Hypothetical disaster of the week: Massive rolling blackout

Electrician Working On Power Lines

Summer is right around the corner, which, for us here in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., generally means extreme humidity, unpredictable weather patterns and, in recent years, rolling blackouts. Although we have all undoubtedly been looking forward to warmer days after this volatile past winter, summertime is not without its headaches.

It was just last summer that a massive blackout left millions along the Atlantic Coast without power after devastating thunderstorms downed tree limbs and power lines across the region on June 30. Shortly after the power outage, the state of Maryland ordered a heat advisory, warning elderly and infirmed individuals to stay indoors. However, because of the blackout, millions were left without the air conditioning they relied upon to make temperatures indoors more tolerable. As a result, area hospitals that were already crowded following the storms were flooded with even more patients suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration.

These events are relatively rare, but given the unpredictable whims of Mother Nature over the past 12 months, it's not unlikely that communities in the Mid Atlantic will be left in the dark at some point this summer. Once the power goes out, be sure to keep your freezer and refrigerator doors shut for as long as possible so that cold air doesn't escape, ruining your food. In order to avoid a power surge once the lights turn back on, make sure that you have your air conditioner turned off and wait at least 10 minutes before turning it back on. Should problems persist in your home after the rest of the neighborhood has their lights back on, contact an experienced Arlington, Virginia electrical service like John C. Flood.