National Grid, the electric utility that had hundreds of thousands of customers without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy said it is ready for Wednesday night’s Nor’Easter.
The latest storm first moved in on Wednesday morning and is expected to last into Thursday with high winds, heavy rain and some heavy wet snow to the west and north. National Grid said it is ready to respond to any power outages that may occur as a result of the weather.
There are more than 500 line and tree crews available and ready to respond to any storm-related outages, plus more than 200 “wires-down” personnel. That includes both National Grid crews and those from other companies that are assisting National Grid.
The storm has also activated the company’s emergency response system for the second time in less than two weeks. The company said in a written statement on Wednesday afternoon that it is closely watching the storm track so that crews can be deployed quickly to any areas that may be hard-hit by the storm.
“We understand that our customers just endured Hurricane Sandy, and now, a week later, are faced with the prospect of another storm,” said Kathy Lyford, vice president of New England operations for National grid. “We started planning for this storm on Sunday and we are ready for it. We have crews in place and a plan that will allow us to quickly address any outage hot-spots.”
National Grid said its Emergency Planning team has been working with state and local officials to make sure there is a coordinated response to the storm. The company also vowed to provide “regular, timely updates for the public.”
To report a power outage to National grid, call 1-800-465-1212. Lyford said that it is important to call National Grid if power does go out because some outages affect only one or a few customers and calling National Grid will expedite restoration of service.
Tips to Stay Safe Before, During and After the Storm
National Grid offers the following tips to minimize inconvenience and maximize safety in the event that storm-related power interruptions do occur.
• People who depend on electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-322-3223.
• It’s a good idea to have a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home. A radio is a good way to stay in touch, as National Grid provides news media with timely information regarding service restoration efforts.
• If you plan to use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to only operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize crew safety.
• If you lose power, turn off any appliances that were on when the power went off, but leave one light on so you will know when power is restored.
• After the storm, be sure never to touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid or your local emergency response organization.
• Power problems can sometimes interrupt public water supply systems or disable well pumps, so it’s an especially good idea to keep a supply of bottled drinking water handy, as well as some canned food.