Flex Alerts are becoming more and more common in many parts of the United States. If you're not familiar with what a Flex Alert is, it's an event that happens when there is a risk of power outages.
Flex Alerts tell residents to conserve energy during certain hours because the electric grid could become overloaded by high demand for electricity from air conditioners and other appliances. To help lessen the impact on the grid, you can do your part by reducing how much power you use yourself—but don't worry! There's no need to give up any personal comfort or convenience just yet!
A solar power generator, [like this one from Boyone Wombat] is a convenient and easy way to power your household appliances no mater the circumstances—whether you’re in a power outage or doing your part to help prevent one.
In this article, we'll explain:
1) Who is at risk for a Flex Alert,
2) What you should do during a Flex Alert, and
3) How to use a portable power generator to do your part
Who is at risk for a Flex Alert?
Flex Alerts are a way to warn the public about heat waves. They are issued by the National Weather Service when temperatures have reached an oppressive level, and often last for days at a time. According to NWS, over 7 million people were impacted by Flex Alerts in 2018 alone. Who is at risk? The elderly, those with preexisting medical conditions, children and pets can be most vulnerable during this type of event. In some cases, schools will close down due to excessive heat or air quality issues.
A list of common locations for Flex Alerts:
- California (Inland Empire)
Why are there so many Flex Alerts in this area of the country? The dry heat is notorious for creating conditions that can quickly lead to a dangerous situation, with temperatures sometimes reaching up to 115 degrees. Drought conditions not only affects the state's water supply but makes it difficult to maintain air quality as well.
While Flex Alerts are are purely voluntary, if you live in these areas, you should be prepared. Besides for helping the greater community avoid power outages, an alert means that you are much more likely to have an outage on the way.
What should I do during a Flex Alert
The first thing you should do when you see that there is a Flex Alert on your electricity supply, is to turn off all non-essential appliances. That means anything in the house or office that doesn't need to be running right now. You can also consider using alternative energy sources like candles or lamps.
Overall, areas with a Flex Alert need to reduce their consumption by 30%. How long should you reduce your electricity consumption: It's best to limit the time spent in a building down to two hours. This way, you'll be able to keep your energy usage below that 30% threshold. If it is necessary for someone from your home or office team to stay longer than two hours, the best way to do so is by using a solar power generator.
Some common appliances that should not be used during a Flex Alerts are: microwaves, air conditioners (at high levels), dishwasher, and washing machines.
How can a portable power station help me?
We've already established how you should reduce power during a Flex Alert. However, what if a situation arises when you want to continue using your appliances?
Of course, if you need to use electricity for your health and safety, you should not unplug from the grid. However, many of us want the convenience of electricity while also doing our part to prevent outages.
Can you have your cake and eat it too? The answer is yes, if you have a portable power station.
A portable power station is a battery-based device that has the capability to store electricity and provide it on demand. This means you can power devices like your kitchen appliances, coffee maker, television, laptop or tablet with one of these stations during a Flex Alert.
Solar panels are another tool that is used in tandem with a station to provide power. With a Boyone Ready Kit, you can easily plug in your solar panel and get your power station fully charged in as little as fully charging the power station within four hours under sufficient sun. This can provide power for the equivalent of keeping on your DC fridge for about 2 hours.
Or you can charge your station with solar energy while consecutively using it with smaller devices, like powering your laptop and charging your phone.