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How Long Does a Power Outage Last?

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Power outages can happen at any time of day, almost anywhere, and often at inconvenient times. These outages quickly and dangerously disrupt the daily lives of thousands or more people. Every time the power goes out, everyone asks themselves: “how long does a power outage last?”

 Reasons for power outage

The cause of the outage will almost certainly affect the time it takes to restore power.

Natural disaster

Hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods are just some of the natural disasters that can cause power outages. During these natural disasters, power companies often shut down power to prevent potential dangers. In some cases, there is a sudden power outage due to damaged power cords.
In the event of a natural disaster, power is usually restored once conditions ease. However, if damage occurs, such as an outage, the power company may need more time to repair and restore power. This may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the damage.
Storms are one of the most common causes of power outages, especially in places with high winds and severe thunderstorms throughout the storm season. For example, most power outages during hurricane season are caused by storm surge-damaged equipment.
Utility crews can repair minor incidents, such as downed power lines, in about 2-3 hours. However, when the cause of an outage is severe weather or a natural disaster, you may be without power for days or even months in some extreme cases.
If a power pole collapses, it could take at least a day for utility companies to resume operations. A severe situation involving an entire power plant could leave you without power for about a week. If a factory explosion or accident causes a shutdown, power from other factories will be integrated into the grid to make up for the shortage.


Traffic accident

Vehicle accidents not only inconvenience the roads but can also cause power outages. When a car loses control and hits a utility pole, the collision can cause damage and possibly cause power outages in the surrounding area.
In addition, vehicle accidents can result in damaged utility poles or downed power lines, causing power outages. Recovery time depends on the severity of the damage and the complexity of the repair work and may take several days.

Circuit overload and equipment failure

At home, when you use too many devices at the same time, you may experience a power outage due to a blown circuit. When power demand exceeds the grid’s carrying capacity, circuit overloading and equipment failure can result. An outage in this case may be resolved by simply resetting a circuit breaker or replacing the faulty equipment, and is usually restored within a few hours. This is usually easy to fix. All you need to do is go to the circuit breaker and turn on the activated switch. You won’t be able to get back to exactly what you were doing, and you may need to find something like a portable power station to provide the extra power you need for whatever task at hand.


Equipment that provides electricity, such as transformers and power lines, requires regular maintenance to ensure accurate operation and reliability. During this time, power companies shut down power to ensure the safety of their employees. In order to ensure the stable operation of the power system, regular maintenance and upkeep are necessary. During these times, power companies plan outages so necessary repairs can be made. These types of outages are usually notified in advance and are relatively short-lived.
Typically, maintenance work is announced along with other information such as affected areas and maintenance duration.

How to understand the duration of power outage

  • Notice from local electricity bureaus

Hopefully the local power company has a system in place to send alerts to their service area in the event of a power outage. This is often the best way to know how long an outage lasts.
Unfortunately, these are not always completely accurate, and you may be able to find a more accurate answer through other methods.

  • Estimate based on past power outage times

If your area has experienced power outages before, you may be able to tell how long they last. If you can recall another time when a line failed, you can use it as a reference point to understand what happened this time.
If you know the cause of the outage, this will give you the most accurate time estimate. Some companies are great at getting back up and running, but not all are as fast as others.

  • Call the electricity bureau

If you really want a simple answer, try calling your power company. They can explain the situation and let you know exactly what they are doing to help resolve the issue.


Assessment of damage

For utility workers, figuring out what the problem is and where it is sometimes takes the most time. Downed utility poles require little to no diagnosis, whereas problems occurring underground where cables are “underground” may take longer to figure out. Repairing a standard power line can be done in a few hours, but underground wires can sometimes take weeks.

1. Damage in your area

After a storm or disaster, utility companies, like any industry, take a series of steps to restore power to the most people as quickly as possible. Maintenance crews began restoring power to customers after assessing the damage and repairing priority facilities such as substations and hospitals. Typically, the closer you are to a transmission line, the faster you can get power. If your neighborhood is severely damaged, you may have to wait longer, especially if the problem affects only a few customers.

2.Available resources

In the event of a natural disaster, damage is widespread and utility workers may be dispersed. Additionally, cities or urban areas may have more workers and equipment to quickly resolve outages. In rural or developing countries, a lack of resources and skilled labor can delay repairs.

3. How to repair damage

Experiencing a power outage can be frustrating, but there are steps you can take to mitigate the damage and get things back to normal. Here’s a guide on how to repair damage caused by a power outage:
Some line problems are digital and can be quickly and remotely fixed. Physical damage requires manual repair, which takes more time. Before power can be fully restored, line crews will need to conduct tests that can cause outages and overloads, making the repair phase longer.

Check the circuit breaker: Start by checking the circuit breaker panel. Find any tripped circuit breakers and reset them if necessary. Power surges during a power outage can cause circuit breakers to trip.

Assess electronics and appliances: Check your electronics and appliances for any signs of damage. If they won’t turn on or behave strangely, unplug them and consult a professional for repair or replacement.

Reset and Restart: Restart all devices that were active during the outage. This includes computers, routers, modems, and entertainment systems. Power cycling can help solve minor problems caused by sudden power outages.

Test your HVAC system: If your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is affected, be sure to have it inspected. Check the HVAC unit-specific circuit breaker and make sure it is working properly. If the system does not return to normal operation, contact an HVAC technician.

Evaluate refrigerated foods: Check the contents of your refrigerator and freezer. Perishable items that are out of power for an extended period of time may deteriorate. Discard any food that shows signs of spoilage or has an unusual smell.

Consider surge protection: Install a surge protector or uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit to protect sensitive electronic equipment and appliances from future power surges. These devices can help prevent damage during a power outage.

Contact your utility provider: If a power outage causes severe damage or you suspect a problem with your utility service, report it to your utility provider. They can provide guidance and resolve any infrastructure-related issues.

Report the damage to your insurance: If a power outage causes significant damage to your property or belongings, contact your insurance company to report the incident and initiate the claim process.

4. Long-term issues

When an overloaded grid causes a blackout, more than just repairs are needed. While these more important grid issues are being addressed, utilities are scheduling scheduled rolling outages to avoid prolonged outages. In this case, customers will still experience an outage, but it will be shorter and fixed in duration of a few hours. Customers are often notified of rolling outages so they can prepare in advance.

Strategies to deal with power outages

Prepare emergency items: such as portable solar emergency power supply equipment, flashlights, batteries, power banks, emergency food and water, etc.
Make an emergency plan: Learn how to stay connected during a power outage, how to use backup power, and more.
Follow Official Information: Get the latest information on outages and estimated restoration times from your power company’s official website, social media, or news outlets.
Protect electronic equipment: Use a surge protector to protect electronic equipment from damage caused by power fluctuations.
Be patient and understanding: Understand that power outages may be due to force majeure and be patient as the power company works to repair them.

Prepare for short-term and long-term power outages

How long will the power outage last – sungold
No matter how long the outage might last, you need to be prepared for when the day inevitably comes.
Whether you experience winter storms every year or live outside of an urban sprawl, power outages can happen at any time. You can prepare to use portable solar panels + rechargeable batteries for portable power stations to keep your family safe and your home running smoothly. Sungold HI power series portable solar panels have the ability to provide power with high power output and can be your lifeline during power outages:

Even if the gas and electricity are turned off, you can still use your microwave or electric stove to prepare meals for your family. Keep your home warm with a heater or electric blanket, and of course, keep your phone and laptop charged. A portable solar panel + portable power station can keep your refrigerator or freezer running for about a day so you never lose groceries or frozen meals.

Each of these devices allows multiple devices to run simultaneously, meaning you can continue regularly scheduled operations if necessary. This can be applied to multiple people, ensuring the whole family has access to power when they need it most.

Product Features:
The Sungold High Power 400 Watt Solar Panel is a highly efficient, foldable solar panel. High power output, suitable for 1-2.5kWh portable solar power stations. The 400-watt solar panel uses patented materials and new technologies, and has a 5-year warranty to give you a better experience.

The surface of the HI-power 400W solar panel is made of ETFE material and equipped with an IP68 protection grade MC4 connector to ensure that the solar panel can be used reliably in humid or dusty environments and is waterproof and dustproof.

Hi-Power 400W portable solar panel
Hi-Power 400W portable solar panel

Final Thoughts

Overall, the duration of an outage can vary depending on the cause of the outage and surrounding circumstances. Outages caused by natural disasters or extensive damage to power lines can last days or even weeks. Preparation is key to handling these situations so that you are ready to move on with your life as if nothing ever happened. It is important to prepare for power outages by using alternative power sources such as portable solar panels + portable generators or uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). Additionally, taking proactive steps to protect sensitive electronic equipment with surge protectors can minimize damage during a power surge. Remember to report outages to your utility company and assess any damage to your property or appliances. By being prepared and informed, you can better prepare and cope with the duration of an outage.


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