WASHINGTON (May 04, 2022) — With active hurricane and wildfire seasons predicted again this year, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and our member companies remind customers that now is the time to prepare for extreme weather events and other emergencies that could cause extended power outages. Proactively taking simple steps to get ready now can be greatly beneficial if, and when, an emergency occurs.
“As forecasters have predicted in recent years, this year’s storm season again is expected to bring an above-average number of named storms and wildfires that could impact many customers and communities across the nation,” said Scott Aaronson, EEI’s senior vice president for Security & Preparedness. “EEI and our member electric companies already have begun preparing and coordinating with our industry and government partners, and we urge customers to begin their preparations now.”
A hallmark of the electric power industry is mutual assistance. In advance of major storms and following other extreme weather events and natural disasters that strike without notice, electric companies work together to identify potential resource needs and to line up additional personnel, equipment, and supplies that may be needed to support power restoration. This careful preparation allows for a safe entry and a rapid, organized response in the affected areas.
“Following natural disasters, crews from across the United States and Canada come together to assist impacted communities, and their safety is paramount to EEI and to our member companies,” Aaronson added. “While we understand that customers may want to ask questions or show their appreciation to crews during emergency power restorations, it is critical that they keep a safe distance from lineworkers and other mission-essential employees during all response efforts.”
Customers and communities share a responsibility to prepare for emergencies, and we encourage them to start today by creating an emergency plan and preparing an emergency outage kit that is readily available should a disaster strike.
Here are tips and resources to help you prepare:
- Visit www.ready.gov to learn how to plan, be prepared, and act in your community.
- Review EEI's hurricane safety tips and wildfire safety tips. For more hurricane safety and preparation tips, visit the National Hurricane Survival Initiative. For more wildfire safety tips, visit www.ready.gov/wildfires.
- 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.
- Have your emergency outage kit stocked and readily available.
- Know all evacuation routes. If you or anyone you know has special needs that may complicate an evacuation, contact your local emergency management office for guidance. Find the phone number at www.FEMA.gov.
- Pay attention to local weather reports on the radio, television, and online.
- Stock up on non-perishable food, water, medications, and any other necessities to avoid the need for travel during a storm. If you live in an area where evacuations may be necessary, be sure to research any changes to local policies that may have been made due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Learn what to do in case of a power outage.
- Make sure your contact information is current with your local electric company 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.
- Listen to the Electric Perspectives Podcast episode, "Preparing for Hurricane and Wildfire Season," to hear StormGeo Meteorologist Justin Petrutsas provide the forecast for this year’s hurricane and wildfire season. Also in this episode, EEI Senior Vice President of Security and Preparedness Scott Aaronson discusses how electric companies partner with government agencies to prepare for and respond to emergencies and the steps customers can take now so that they are prepared should a major disaster strike.