Storm Preparation and Safety Tips
Rochester, NY, January 15, 2007 – NYSEG and RG&E are prepared to respond quickly and efficiently to possible power interruptions caused by the winter storm that entered the region this morning. The build up of ice on power lines and trees has the potential to inflict serious damage to utility equipment.
NYSEG and RG&E are closely monitoring the path and strength of the storm. “Company personnel are on duty, additional resources are available, supplies are on hand and our customer relations centers are prepared,” said Mike Conroy, vice president – operations.
Estimating restoration times during storms of this nature is difficult until the storm conditions have subsided and a survey of the damage has been completed.
NYSEG and RG&E urge customers to avoid downed power lines. Even lines that appear dead can be deadly. NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations. RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701.
NYSEG and RG&E also remind customers to stay out of flooded basements because energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard. Natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger. If your basement or home is in danger of flooding, contact NYSEG or RG&E to turn off your electricity and/or natural gas service.
Here are some additional tips:
- Anyone who uses life-sustaining equipment that operates on electricity should contact NYSEG at 1.800.572.1111 or RG&E at 1.800.743.2110. We may enroll you in one of our critical customer programs or provide you with specific advice on how to prepare for power interruptions.
- Keep flashlights, a battery-powered radio and fresh batteries handy.
- Have at least one telephone that is not dependent on electricity. (Cordless phones won’t work during a power interruption.)
- Keep a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand.
- If you have a cell phone, make sure the battery is fully charged.
- Contact neighbors to see if their power is off. You may have simply blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker.
- Contact NYSEG at 1.800.572.1131 or RG&E at 1.800.743.1701 to report a power interruption, and please have your account number handy. Our telephone systems let you report the problem, helps our crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provides you with power interruption updates. You can call as often as you like for updates. Because many people may be trying to reach us during a power interruption, phone lines may be busy. Please be patient.
- If your basement or home is in danger of flooding, contact NYSEG or RG&E to turn off your electricity and/or natural gas service. Never enter a flooded basement or home until electricity and natural gas service have been turned off.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio for weather and power restoration updates.
- Turn off major appliances (electric water heaters, refrigerators and freezers) and sensitive electronic equipment (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers, stereos) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean that you have to unplug it, turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse for the circuit in your home that provides power to this equipment. Leave one light switch “on” so you’ll know when power has been restored.
- Emergency generators can be dangerous. If you use one, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Never run an emergency generator indoors; operate generators only outdoors in well-ventilated areas.
- Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.
- Never use a grill or stove intended for use outdoors in your home.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.
After your power is restored:
- If your basement or home was flooded, have an electrician check your home and have a plumbing and heating contractor check natural gas appliances before contacting NYSEG or RG&E to have services turned on.
- Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading your circuits.
- Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.