AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - With storm season here Xcel Energy is preparing to beat possible power outages.
Which is why over the next few weeks, Xcel employees will be maintaining power, transmission, and tap lines, as well as the areas around them. The company is also stocking up on materials like of poles and wires so they'll be able to restore power if there is an outage.
Xcel Energy's Spokesman, Wes Reeves, said these preparations don't just help their customers, but the business too.
"We have to take a look at what we have and if it's getting ready to fail, we can't just go out every year and create a new system because that's very expensive so we have to be very smart about what we replace so maintenance, investing in new infrastructure is very critical and that's something that's just ongoing and it's the same with you at home."
Xcel said if customers lose power during a storm they need to report it, because many customers don't call since they assume someone else did.
Reeves said they use all calls to determine how much damage is done and where.
"We need to know because actually we have a system that helps guide our efforts by how many calls are coming if they're all coming from one block or neighborhood, we know that their could be a feeder line down," Reeves said. "But if they're coming from all over the city in little pockets we know we have a little wind damage to service line, so it really helps us plan our response the more information we have."
Another way the company is preparing for storms is by encouraging customers to use their new notification system.
"One thing we have noticed in talking with customers over the years is customers are understanding, they know the lights might go out if we have a big storm come through what frustrated customers is the lack of information, so we're really working harder to provide more information during a storm," Reeves said. "We're also setting up customers for notifications, it's a voluntary thing. We can provide updates directly to you rather than you having to call and find out and I think that really makes customers feel better."
Reeves said the system can help people remain calm in emergency situations.
"I think it's critical for people to understand that there is a whole process that goes on and often if your lights go out or cable goes out or whatever you just kind of sit there and your waiting and you don't know what's going on," Reeves said. "So, that's why I think it's good to sign up for some of these notifications so you can say 'hey 30 minutes ago I got a message from Xcel and they said were going to we working in your area in an hour' and it really helps you out in that case."
Xcel only plans to use the notification system for storm notifications, maintenance, and other critical information.
To sign up, log into your profile and click my profile and notification. You will be able to edit the way you receive electric outage notifications. You can also call 800-895-4999.