National Grid Prepares for Hurricane Sandy's Arrival in New England
Crews and Equipment Being Mobilized As the Storm Moves Northward - Company Urges ‘Safety First’
With Hurricane Sandy looming on the southern horizon, National Grid is already preparing for the possibility of high winds and power interruptions at the next week. Although the path of the storm won’t be clear until this weekend, crew assignments are being developed and equipment readied in anticipation of severe weather.
“Our first concern is the safety of the public and our employees,” said Kathy Lyford, National Grid vice president of electric operations in New England. “We have tracked Sandy very closely over the past several days, and preparedness plans are being developed to make sure our crews are ready to respond as quickly and safely as possible.” Lyford added, “We are leaving nothing to chance; we’re preparing for the worst.”
Several steps have already been taken to prepare for the possibility of service interruptions. These include the following:
- Contacting our contractors with whom we regularly work for storm support
- Planning to bring in additional crews, if needed, over the weekend
- Implement our storm command system to coordinate preparation and restoration efforts throughout the event
- Continuous monitoring of the storm and positioning our resources to best respond to storm outages
- Provide routine public updates
National Grid has invested tens of millions of dollars in strengthening its New England electric distribution infrastructure in the past year. The company has also implemented new procedures based on lessons learned from the storms that devastated the area in 2011. As always, the company’s primary mission is safety.
National Grid officials already have reached out to emergency management officials in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to discuss storm preparation and service restoration plans. Municipal officials have been contacted throughout the region to keep them updated on preparations and to provide contact and safety information that can be passed along to constituents in the event of severe damage from the winds.
National Grid provides a number of channels for customers to learn about service issues and interruptions during storms. Customers can receive text message alerts and updates through a free service the company offers. Text the word STORM to NGRID (64743) to sign up for the service. E-mail alerts are also available to customers who create an online profile on the company’s website. All alert services can be started and stopped at the customer’s request. National Grid also provides storm and restoration updates through Facebook and Twitter.
National Grid advises customers to be prepared for service interruptions. It’s a good idea to have a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home. A radio is a good way to stay in touch, as National Grid provides news media with timely information regarding service restoration efforts.
Also, post National Grid’s toll-free emergency outage reporting number—1-800-465-1212—near your telephone so it will be handy if needed. Calling the company if you experience an outage can expedite restoration.
National Grid provides real-time outage information, including the option to report an outage at www.nationalgridus.com in the Outage Central section of the company web pages. Customers also can access Outage Central by entering the web address on their mobile device.
Tips to Weather the Storm
National Grid offers the following tips for customers to minimize inconvenience and maximize safety in the event that storm-related power interruptions do occur.
- Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid or your local emergency response organization.
- If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to only operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize crew safety.
- If you lose power, turn off any appliances that were on when the power went off, but leave one light on so you will know when power is restored.
- Power problems can sometimes interrupt public water supply systems or disable well pumps, so it’s an especially good idea to keep a supply of bottled drinking water handy, as well as some canned food.
- People who depend on electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-322-3223.
- Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period.
For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com.