FARMINGTON — Aztec residents will lose power at 10 p.m. Saturday and electricity may not be restored until 6 a.m. Sunday.
During this time, Aztec and Farmington electric crews will be performing maintenance on the transmission and distribution equipment. Because these crews will be working on high voltage equipment, the power must be turned off to the entire city.
San Juan County Office of Emergency Management will monitor the situation and will open an operations center if needed, according to Emergency Manager Mike Mestas.
Here are five things Aztec residents can do to prepare for the power outage:
1. Replace flashlight batteries
Flashlights or battery-powered lamps are the best way to light houses during power outages, according to tips available from the Red Cross. While preparing for the power outage, people should make sure their flashlights or battery-powered lamps work and have fresh batteries. Keep these flashlights and lamps in easily-accessible places.
A power outage preparation checklist can be found at redcross.org.
2. Make plans for people who rely on medical equipment
Power outages can be deadly for people who rely on electricity to power medical equipment like ventilators, respirators, oxygen equipment and home dialysis equipment. The City of Aztec states these residents must make arrangements to ensure their welfare during the outage.
This could mean booking a hotel for a night in Farmington or staying with family members.
Aztec residents can also use backup generators to power medical equipment during the power outage. These generators should be installed by an electrician and tested prior to the power outage. Mestas said nursing homes will be using backup generators during the outage.
If a resident who relies on medical equipment cannot leave Aztec and does not have a backup generator, Mestas said the resident should make a plan with their medical provider and alert the city of Aztec.
The Aztec Electric Department can be reached at 505-334-7667 and the Utility Department's phone number is 505-334-7670.
3. Charge electronic devices
Charge cell phones, laptops and other electronics before the power outage. People who need a wake-up alarm on Sunday can use a charged cell phone or a battery-powered or wind up alarm clock, according the City of Aztec.
4. Disengage motor operations on garage doors
Many garage doors rely on electricity to open and the motor operations must be disengaged for people to open the door manually, according to the City of Aztec.
The door should be closed while disengaging the motor operations. Pulling the cord hanging from the door trolley will disengage the motor operations. This will allow the door to be opened manually.
5. Limit driving during the outage
When the power goes out, the traffic lights will stop working. Intersections should be treated like four-way stops. The City of Aztec is asking residents to limit the amount of traffic on the roads during the power outage.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at email@example.com.