Service crews on alert, customers urged to prepare
Editorial by National Grid
Much of Western New York is forecast to see strong and potentially damaging winds today, and National Grid is preparing its storm response plans and urging customers to be safe and ready. The company will staff all of its crews in the region with electrical and forestry workers into the evening in the event the winds cause power outages.
The company offers the following tips to help customers be prepared and stay safe:
Electricity & Generator Safety
•If a power outage occurs, customers should call National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 to expedite restoration.
•Generators used to supply power during an outage must be operated outdoors. Before operating a generator, be sure to disconnect from National Grid's system by shutting off the main breaker, located in the electric service panel. Failure to do so could endanger our crews and your neighbors as energy from the generator could feed back into the street.
•Never touch downed power lines or anything touching a downed line, as the wires could still be energized. Downed lines should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or to your local emergency response organization.
•Keep a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home.
•Charge mobile electronic devices - phones, tablets, computers - before the weather hits, allowing you to stay connected and informed.
•Please drive carefully and use caution when driving near any repair crews working to restore power.
•Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.
•Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid at 1-800-642-4272. (In a medical emergency, always dial 911.)
National Grid also advises staying tuned to local media for important announcements from emergency officials about possible evacuations or other emergency procedures. In most areas, information on storm shelter locations is available by calling 211.
National Grid offers several ways to stay informed and safe - before, during and after a storm:
•For real-time power outage information, online outage reporting, and in-depth storm safety information, visit the "Outage Central"
section of www.nationalgridus.com
. Customers who create an online profile on our website can also sign up for email alerts.
•To receive text message alerts and updates from National Grid, text the word STORM to NGRID (64743).
•Online and text alert services can be started and stopped at the customer's request.
•Other ways to stay in touch:
for a video on how National Grid restores power after a major storm.