How We Restore Power after Storms
CenterPoint Energy employees work around the clock to restore your electricity after severe weather, but this process actually begins before the storm.
Before a Storm
Gathering weather data – as the storm or hurricane approaches, we gather and evaluate predictive weather data:
- Track of the storm
- Expected wind speeds & gusts
- Expected rainfall amount
– we determine the resources required to repair anticipated damage, using algorithms and historical data. Resources include employees, vehicles and equipment.
Preparing staff and vehicles – we ready our trucks/equipment and establish work shifts for employees and third-party partners. We consider travel timelines for employees and partners located in other cities and states.
After a Storm
Surveying damage – we assess storm damage to Houston’s electrical grid.
- Helicopters, planes or unmanned aerial vehicles perform an aerial survey.
- Nearly 600 inspectors check the damage at ground level, conducting neighborhood damage assessments.
The survey process determines how and where we allocate resources. We note roads and areas made inaccessible by flooding or downed trees. At this step, we also set up special staging sites for areas hit hardest by the hurricane or storm.
Restoring power – Before the survey is complete, CenterPoint Energy crews begin restoring power to facilities vital to safety, health and welfare, such as hospitals, water treatment plants and public service facilities.
After key facilities, we follow our priority restoration process by making repairs to electrical facilities that will return power to the largest number of people first. We continue the restoration process, prioritizing repairs to benefit the greatest number of customers, until power is returned to everyone.
In addition to our own employees and equipment, linemen and tree-trimmers from electric and line-contracting companies may be called upon through mutual assistance agreements to speed up restoration.
View our interactive illustration of the restoration process.
Communicating with You
To stay informed about outages and restoration, we encourage you to use one or all of these FREE services:
- Power Alert Service provides free notifications about power outages via email, text or phone calls. It also sends you estimated restoration times, status updates, and tells you when your power is back on.
- Outage Tracker shows you the approximate locations of current power outages on an interactive map.
- Social Media keeps you informed! Follow us on Twitter @CNPalerts or Facebook for system-wide and neighborhood-level updates and safety tips before, during, and after a storm.
Note: Following a severe storm or hurricane, we may be unable to provide much detailed information about your individual outage. Our phone lines may be busy during emergencies, so please be patient while power is being restored. Customers should plan on being without power for an extended length of time based on the severity of the storm.
Learn more about outages and restoration:
Video: How automatic power restoration works