How AEP Texas Linemen Live When Disaster Strikes

When disaster strikes, it's a good bet that power will be one of the first things you lose.

On Thursday at the Richard Borchard Fairgrounds in Robstown, American Electric Power Texas showcased how their workers live during an emergency in order to get the power back on as fast as possible.

"We attempt to get the power on as soon as we possibly can," said Ray Covey of AEP Texas. "That's our goal. As safe as possible."
Power restoration in the wake of disasters like a hurricane or tornado is critical to recovery. AEP Texas showcased how their linemen, who are responsible for turning your lights back on, live while they work.

"In this particular circumstance, we are simulating an outage that can be multiple days with a lack of hotel resource for our folks," Covey said. "So we are looking at both sleep trailers and sleep tents."

When time is limited, the sleep tents offer a quick way to provide fast shelter with 38-40 cots for sleeping. The sleep trailer is the newest style of living space designed specifically for linemen working to restore power in disaster ridden areas.

"These bunk trailers, we designed after Hurricane Katrina," said Jeff Badeaux, president and managing partner of Base Logistics. "During Hurricane Katrina, we had 14,000 people along the Gulf Coast that we supported."

It can sleep 20-24 people in it's bunks, which are capable of holding a seven-foot tall person.

Often, comfort is the last thing you'll find after disaster strikes. The mobile trailer also has amenities like air conditioning and a fully functioning bathroom with a sink, shower and toilet. Staying connected to family is also important, and the trailer covers that too.

"We found guys, they go on the trailer and they want to know 'how am I going to charge my cell phone? I used my cell phone all day long and now I need to charge it up,'" Badeaux said. "It's a small amenity, but it's something that everybody needs."


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