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Now is the Time to Prepare for Hurricane Season

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 31, 2018) – With the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season starting tomorrow, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) reminds customers to prepare now for storms and other emergency situations that could cause power outages. Taking simple steps now to get ready for emergencies in your home, business, and community can pay great dividends if, and when, an emergency occurs.

In 2017, we experienced a historic hurricane season that caused historic damage throughout the United States,” said Scott Aaronson, EEI’s vice president for security and preparedness. “As an industry, we use every storm as a learning opportunity and strive to be better tomorrow than we are today. For our customers, it is also incredibly important to learn from past experiences and to take steps now to prepare so that they and their families are ready and safe should a major storm strike.”

lectric companies are investing more than $100 billion each year in to make the energy grid smarter, stronger, cleaner, more dynamic, and more secure. In 2017, electric companies invested more than $35 billion in the distribution system alone, hardening infrastructure and installing sensors and other monitoring technologies to help crews identify issues and restore power faster. 

cross the country, electric companies also have deployed more than 75 million digital smart meters, covering 60 percent of all U.S. households today. Smart meters provide system operators with real-time visibility into the status of the energy grid and individual customers, allowing problems to be identified more quickly. In some cases, companies can even reroute power during a storm to prevent outages from occurring. The industry also continues to enhance its mutual assistance networks to make sure restorations are done safely and as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Mutual assistance is a hallmark of the electric power industry, and it played a pivotal role throughout the historic 2017 hurricane season. More than 10,000 workers from 21 states helped restore power after Hurricane Harvey, and an army of more than 60,000 workers from across the country and Canada helped restore power to the more than 7.8 million customers impacted by Hurricane Irma.

urricane Maria caused damage in Puerto Rico unlike anything the industry has ever seen, and nearly 60 investor-owned electric companies and public power utilities sent approximately 3,000 lineworkers and support personnel, more than 1,000 trucks by barge, and critical materials to help restore power to our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.

hat customers can do now to prepare for hurricane season:

    • 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 live close to the coast. If you or anyone you know has special needs in case of evacuation, contact your local emergency management office. Find the phone number at
    • ​Pay attention to local weather reports on the radio, television, and Internet.
    • ​Stock up on non-perishable food, water, medications, and any other necessities to avoid the need for travel during the storm. If called to evacuate, do so immediately.
    • ​​Learn what to do in case of a power outage.
    • ​Make sure your contact information is current with your local electric company in order to 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.

If a severe storm hits your area:

    • ​Stay in a secure room and away from windows. Remain indoors.
    • ​Monitor weather bulletins on a battery-powered radio.
    • ​Turn off power to flood-prone basement appliances if it is safe to do so. However, if using an electrically operated sump pump, you should not turn off the power.
    • ​​If using a personal generator, follow all recommended precautions. Never use a generator inside your home, garage, crawl space, other enclosed areas, or anywhere exhaust fumes can enter. Fatal, odorless fumes can build up quickly, and opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide buildup in the home.
    • ​Stay away from downed power lines and always treat fallen wires and anything touching them as though they are energized. Immediately report downed lines to your electric company.
    • ​If your power goes out, report your outage immediately to your local electric company. Don’t rely on your neighbors to report your outage.

Severe Weather and Reliability

In addition to customer safety, the electric power industry’s top priority is to provide a reliable supply of energy. Learn more about how the industry responds to outages caused by severe weather:

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