Stay safe during extreme weather
Winter winds and ice aren't the only hazards to energy service and safety in New York. Hurricanes can create warm-weather dangers that are just as serious. August and September are the highest-risk months for hurricanes, and recent years have seen some destructive storms. Hot weather and flooding can also create challenges to remain safe and comfortable.
Here are some tips to keep you safe through extreme weather events.
Hot and humid weather leaves most people feeling uncomfortable. Elderly, young children and people with chronic illnesses can be more susceptible to prolonged temperate increases and extreme heat. Here are some tips for staying cool, comfortable and safe if extreme heat hits.
- Close curtains during the day to block sunlight.
- Use ceiling fans to naturally cool your home.
- Avoid prolonged, strenuous outdoor activity on hot and humid days.
- Stay in contact with family or friends who can help you get assistance if you develop a heat-related problem.
- Keep your refrigerator temperature setting just low enough to chill milk (38-40º F) and the freezer low enough to keep ice cream hard (around 5º F). Did you know, every time you open your refrigerator, approximately 30% of the cold air escapes?
- Stay in a cool place. If your home does not have air conditioning, spend as much time as possible in a public air-conditioned place, such as a library, movie theater or senior center.
Additional heat protections
We will suspend residential disconnections for nonpayment when temperatures are forecasted at 85º F or above for a geographic operating region where we provide service. The United States National Weather Service is used to determine forecasts and any resulting regional pauses on residential service disconnections.
While cold weather is expected in New York, here are some things you can do to be prepared, use energy efficiently and stay safe.
- Set the thermostat as low as comfort permits. Each degree above 68º F can use 3% more energy.
- Install a programmable or wi-fi thermostat to automatically control your heating and save money by lowering the temperature when you’re not home.
- Clean or replace furnace filters as recommended and have your furnace burner checked and cleaned annually by a contractor. A well cleaned and tuned heating system saves you money.
- Natural gas chimneys and vents should be kept clear of snow and ice to prevent the build-up of potentially deadly carbon monoxide.
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is the product of incomplete combustion and carbon monoxide poisoning can happen in a matter of minutes.
Additional cold weather protections
We will suspend residential disconnections for nonpayment when high temperatures, factoring in wind chill, are forecasted to be 32º F or lower for a geographic operating region where we provide service.
If your household includes only residents over the age of 62 or older, 18 or younger, blind, or disabled, it’s important you let us know. We will attempt to contact you by phone or in person at least 72 hours before termination of service to work out a payment agreement. Between November 1 and April 15, we also provide additional protections to identified households to avoid service disconnection.
During the winter period, if your service is interrupted for nonpayment, you can use a Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) payment to restore service. At your request, a payment agreement can also be established with a HEAP payment as the down payment.
If you live in a flood-prone area, it’s important to consider how your energy service could be impacted to ensure your safety and lessen potential property damage.
If flooding has already occurred or is about to:
- Stay out of flooded basements! Energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard. Natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a hazard.
- Contact us to have electricity and natural gas service turned off. You should never attempt to turn off electricity and natural gas service yourself.
- Once flood waters have receded, it’s important you first work with an electrician and/or plumbing and heating contractor to have your equipment checked, repaired and ensure it’s safe. Depending on the electrical equipment impacted by flooding, an inspection by a certified electrical inspector may be required before service can be restored.
Weather conditions and state warnings
You can monitor weather conditions and forecasts from the National Weather Service to ensure your family remains safe if extreme weather is expected. Sign up for NY-Alert to receive notifications on emergencies, severe weather, warnings and more.
If you would like to receive updates from us, please log in to My Account to update your contact information. You can also select your preferences to receive email, phone call or text message Outage Alerts if a power outage impacts your home or business.
Keep in mind
Avoid all downed power lines and keep children and pets away from them and the surrounding ground. No line is safe to touch, ever!
If you are experiencing a natural gas emergency or if you suspect a natural gas leak, get up, get out and get away! Then call us immediately at 800.743.1702 or 911 from a safe location.