National Grid is ready for arrival of 2013 blizzard in New England
For Immediate Release: February 8, 2013
Contact: Media Relations
781-907-3980 - weekdays
781-907-3981 - nights/weekends
NATIONAL GRID IS READY FOR ARRIVAL OF 2013 BLIZZARD IN NEW ENGLAND
Customers Are Advised to Prepare for Potential Multi-Day Outages and Urged to Stay Safe During and After the Storm
February 8, 2013 – It’s been dubbed “potentially historic,” “epic,” and named Nemo. What ever the impending storm is called, National Grid will be ready for it when it arrives in New England.
With the potential for widespread and lengthy power outages, extra crews have been brought in. A total of more than 1,600 National Grid and outside line and tree crews will respond to any outages in Mass. and Rhode Island. Approximately 500 wires down personnel are also ready to go to work. Materials have been pre-staged across both states and company officials are working closely with state and local emergency management personnel and a community liaison has been assigned to every city and town the company serves in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Customers who depend on electric life support equipment, such as a respirator, and who have registered with National Grid, have been called and told to take appropriate precautions in case there are lengthy outages after the storm. The Customer Service center is fully staffed, and hundreds of other personnel are hard at work providing logistics, fleet, material, lodging, engineering, communication and other support services.
“We take this storm very seriously and we are ready for it,” said Kathy Lyford, vice president, New England Operations. “As always, safety is our top priority. We want customers to understand that our crews will begin working to restore power once the high winds and heavy snow subside and it is safe to do so.”
Even after the severe weather passes, crews likely will face challenging conditions including impassable roads, blowing and drifting snow and frigid temperatures that may slow the restoration process.
“We also want our customers to stay safe during and after this very dangerous storm, especially around any downed trees and power lines,” Lyford commented.
Here are some tips to help electric and natural gas customers avoid injuries and stay safe:
- 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. Be sure to use other heat sources such as fireplaces and space heaters safely.
- 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 a downed power line, keep everyone away and call us immediately at 1-800-465-1212.
- 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.
- Please leave damaged poles alone. Handling or cutting utility poles—or burning them in your fireplace, woodstove or furnace—potentially exposes you to the chemicals used to treat and preserve these poles.
- Please drive carefully and use caution when driving near any repair crews working to restore power.
- Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.
Natural gas customers also need to take precautions:
- Be sure to clear snow away from vents and exhaust ducts of appliances such as water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers.
- Use caution when removing snow from roofs to ensure it does not fall on and damage the gas meter.
- Never burn wood or coal in an indoor area without proper venting. Portable gas and charcoal grills intended for outside use should never be used indoors, or even inside an open garage.
- Never run a car in an attached garage, even with the garage door open. Car exhaust contains carbon monoxide and is the leading cause of carbon monoxide fatalities.
- Never use your gas range to heat your apartment, or house. Your range's oven and top burners are designed to cook your food, not to heat your home. Prolonged use can reduce oxygen levels in the home and contribute to unusually excessive levels of carbon monoxide.
Customers Urged to Keep in Touch
In addition to Outage Central, National Grid offers a number of ways for customers to report outages or learn about restoration efforts and important safety information. Here’s how:
- Outage reporting hotline – Massachusetts and Rhode Island customers can call 1-800 465-1212 to report an outage.
- Text messages – Customers can receive text message alerts and updates through a free service the company offers. Text the word STORM to NGRID (64743) to sign up for the service.
- National Grid uses social media – Facebook and Twitter -- to communicate with customers about service issues and interruptions during storms.
- E-mail alerts are also available to customers who create an online profile on the company’s website. All alert services can be started and stopped at the customer’s request.
- Customers can use their mobile devices to track outage information and storm related safety tips
through National Grid’s new mobile site that can be accessed at nationalgrid.com.
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.
In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.
National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to over one million LIPA customers. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com.