Washington, D.C. (August 20, 2021) — As Tropical Storm Henri continues to strengthen in the Atlantic, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) urges customers in the path of the storm to prepare now to ensure that they have an emergency plan and a fully stocked outage kit ready in case the storm causes power outages.
“Electric companies in the path of Henri 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 EEI Vice President of Security & Preparedness Scott Aaronson. “We urge customers to take this storm seriously and prepare now.”
Henri is forecast to cause high winds, damaging storm surge, heavy rain, and significant flooding, which could damage trees and impact energy grid infrastructure. Trees, vegetation, and other debris often have to be cut away before crews can begin to assess damage and restore power.
“We know how important electricity is, and our entire industry stands ready to support impacted companies and the power restoration mission,” added Aaronson. “The CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC), including our government partners at the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and National Security Council (NSC), are coordinating closely to support the ongoing preparation and staging activities, as well as the movement of mutual assistance crews.”Earlier this afternoon, the ESCC held a coordination call with senior leadership from DOE, DHS, and the NSC to discuss the preparations for Henri and to ensure that industry and government efforts are aligned.
Here are ways customers and communities can prepare for Tropical Storm Henri:
- Get your emergency outage kits stocked and ready. Be sure to include masks or face coverings.
- Keep your cell phones and other battery-powered devices charged and available.
- Have a hard copy of emergency contact information available.
- Secure loose branches and other objects that could become dangerous flying debris in high winds.
- Heed all evacuation warnings, and know all evacuation routes. If you or anyone you know has special needs in case of evacuation, contact your local emergency management office. Find the phone number at http://www.fema.gov/.
- Be sure to include your pets in your evacuation plan. Not all evacuation shelters and hotels accept pets, so you may need to identify a pet-friendly hotel along your evacuation route.
- 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.
- Read EEI’s hurricane and flood safety tips and learn how to prepare for power outages.
It is important to remember that COVID-19 creates additional challenges for storm response and emergency power restoration. Early in the pandemic, EEI and its member companies worked through the ESCC to develop a resource guide to ensure that processes and procedures are in place to keep our workforce healthy and safe while we work to maintain continuity of operations. Customers are asked to be patient, as these additional safety steps may slow some restoration tasks.