The Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the association of U.S. shareholder-owned electric companies, and its member companies are already taking steps to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, which forecasters are predicting may become the worst storm to hit the U.S. Northeast in 100 years. Meteorologists expect a powerful, damaging, multi-day storm with high winds, heavy precipitation, extreme tides and flooding across a wide portion of the east coast and mid-Atlantic. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecaster Jim Cisco noted: "We don't have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting." Depending on the severity of the storm's impact on the electrical system, customers are encouraged to prepare for the possibility of power outages lasting up to seven to 10 days by taking action before the storm occurs.
“With Hurricane Sandy predicted to strike as early as this weekend that could devastate the electric system for days, we urge customers to put safety first and be ready should severe weather reach their areas,” said Brian Wolff, EEI Senior Vice President. “EEI and its member utility companies understand that power outages of any duration are hugely disruptive to peoples' lives, which is why we are preparing now for Hurricane Sandy, which forecasters are predicting may become the worst storm to hit the U.S. Northeast in 100 years. Many of our member companies have already begun the process of pre-mobilizing thousands of storm and field personnel, and calling upon extra workers and resources from all across the country to assist in order to restore service as quickly and safely as possible.”
On the EEI Storm Center site, utility customers can find safety tips, links to customers’ own electricity providers’ outage centers, real-time information and updates on storm preparation and restoration progress. EEI also encourages utility customers to follow EEI’s social media sites Twitter and Facebook.
Just as the power companies prepare for severe weather and the possibility of power outages, EEI wants to remind power customers the importance of preparing for storms and other emergency situations—Be Safe, Be Informed.
If a severe storm is approaching:
• Develop an emergency plan that addresses any special medical needs you or your family members have. Call your local emergency management office to discuss necessary arrangements.
• Know all evacuation routes if you live close to the coast.
• Have your Emergency Outage Kit stocked and readily available.
• Pay attention to local weather reports on the radio, television, or Internet.
• Stock up on groceries, water, medications, and any other necessities to avoid the need for travel during the storm. If called to evacuate, do so immediately.
If a severe storm does hit your area:
• Stay in a secure room and away from windows. Remain indoors.
• Monitor weather bulletins on a battery-powered radio.
• If your power goes out, report your outage immediately to your local electric company. Don’t rely on your neighbors to report your outage.
Explore EEI’s Web site to find out:
• What to do in case of a power outage; and
• How to stay safe in the event of a hurricane, flash flood, or winter storm.
For more hurricane safety and preparation tips, visit the National Hurricane Survival Initiative.
Severe Weather and Reliability
In addition to customer safety, the electric power industry’s top priority is to provide a reliable supply of on-demand power. Discover how the industry responds to outages caused by severe weather:
• Review the power restoration process;
• Learn about the Mutual Assistance Network; and
And, don’t forget to visit your local electric company’s Web site for the latest updates and guidance on how to prepare for storms.