WASHINGTON (December 22, 2022) — As Winter Storm Elliott continues to move east across the United States, electric companies are coordinating closely to ensure a safe and efficient response to any resulting power outages. Customers in the path of the storm are urged to prepare now to ensure they have an emergency plan and a fully stocked outage kit ready in case the severe winter weather causes power outages in their communities.
“Electric companies that may be impacted by this severe weather have activated their emergency response plans and are pre-staging crews and equipment to ensure that they are ready to restore power to customers as quickly as possible once it is safe to do so,” said Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Senior Vice President of Security & Preparedness Scott Aaronson. “We urge customers to take this winter storm very seriously and prepare now.”
Elliott is forecast to cause high winds, blizzard conditions, and dangerous wind chills as an Arctic air mass drives temperatures much lower than average. Any resulting sleet, snow, wind, and quick freeze could damage trees and other vegetation, impact electric infrastructure, and make travel treacherous for both customers and restoration crews.
“We know how important electricity is, and our entire industry stands ready to support impacted companies and the power restoration mission,” said Aaronson. “Industry leaders are coordinating closely with our government partners to support the ongoing preparation and staging activities and to ensure that industry and government efforts are aligned. The top priority is the safety of customers and the communities this industry serves.”
Customers are urged to prepare now and to keep important safety tips in mind:
- Get your emergency outage kits stocked and ready.
- Keep your cell phones and other battery-powered devices charged and available.
- Have a hard copy of emergency contact information available.
- Register your cell phone number with your local electric company, and make sure your contact information is current so you can receive any status or safety updates the company might put out during an emergency. Be sure to follow your electric company on social media for real-time updates.
- Make sure you have rock salt to melt ice on walkways, snow shovels and other snow removal equipment, and adequate clothing and blankets. Store a good supply of wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove, or purchase a kerosene heater.
- Avoid unnecessary travel.
- Review the safe operating procedures for generators and remember never to use one insider a home, garage, crawl space, or anywhere lethal exhaust fumes can enter enclosed spaces.
- If planning to use portable stoves, kerosene heaters, or lanterns, remember to make sure that the area is sufficiently ventilated.
- Plan to use flashlights instead of candles to reduce the risk of fire. Never place a burning candle near anything that could catch fire or leave one unattended. Extinguish candles before going to sleep.
- Never use your car as a heating source in a closed garage.
- Never use an oven as a source of heating.
- Read EEI’s winter storm safety tips and learn how to prepare for power outages.