In the event of a major storm we have storm procedures in place and our employees know their assignments in the event that management puts the procedures into action. As part of our on-going operations we continuously monitor weather patterns that may affect our service area and alert employees when possible to take the necessary precautions.
In the aftermath of a major storm, we implement a pre-determined service restoration plan which emphasizes safety and efficiency. The plan has two basic elements. Our first priority is safety. Repair resources are assigned to the most critical areas to make them safe for the general public as well as for our employees to continue working. It is important to know that for the safety of our repair crews, efforts to restore electric service are suspended when winds reach a level that is determined unsafe.
Our second priority is to restore power in the most efficient manner. After a thorough damage assessment has been completed, our repair crews will initially restore electrical service to the customers who provide health, safety and other essential services to the community. These customer groups include:
- Communications such as emergency radio systems, telephones and television
- Public services such as Red Cross facilities
- Designated sewage pump and disposal plants and water supply utilities
- Transportation providers such as airports, electrically operated bridges and rapid transit systems
The restoration work will continue by repairing power lines that restore power in the shortest period of time to the largest number of customers possible. This occurs before our crews begin the more time consuming task of restoring service to individual homes and businesses.
We ask that you please remain patient in the event that you lose power following a major storm. Depending on the damage inflicted on the electric distribution system your power could be out for an extended period of time. Please be assured that we will work around the clock to restore your power.
For your safety and the safety of our crews, please be aware of all service vehicles parked along roadways and service repair sites. In the event you have any outage questions or would like to report downed lines please notify our call center. Directing these issues to a service lineman at a repair site will slow the restoration process.
If you think your home may have water damage the following are important safety tips:
- Watch for downed wires when you approach your home. Consider all lines energized and call us immediately if you see a live "sparking" power line and remain clear of the area.
- Once inside, do not stand in water when operating electrical switches, plugging in or unplugging electrical cords.
- Carefully disconnect all electrical appliances that are still plugged in.
- When resetting circuit breakers, wear dry, rubber soled shoes and stand on something dry and non-conductive, such as a dry piece of wood or wooden furniture.
- When you reset the breaker switches use only one hand and when possible use a dry wooden tool. Avoid making contact with the metal breaker box or other metal objects in the area. If the breakers will not reset or they continue to trip, call a licensed electrician.
- If you had no problem resetting the circuit breakers, you will still want to check your appliances for water damage and make sure all cords are dry before you attempt to re-plug electrical appliances into wall sockets.
- If, after plugging in an appliance, the breakers trip (or fuse blows) or you see smoke or smell a burning odor, shut off power at the circuit breaker and have the appliance checked by a qualified appliance serviceman.
Be very careful around all electrical wires and equipment. If you have any doubts about your home electrical system or are unsure of how to proceed, call a professional, licensed electrician.