O&R Mobilizes Company-Wide Storm Response Effort

February 8, 2013

8 am — O&R has activated its major storm plan and mobilized all company employees to directly or indirectly participate in preparation for the possibility of round-the-clock electric service repair and restoration work in response to the major winter storm hitting the region today through Saturday.

The first-response organizations within the company have ramped up and are ready to make repairs to storm-related outages. Administrative support personnel have shifted from their normal duties to storm-support work.

Joining O&R’s overhead line crews will be contractor line and tree crews, underground line crews and gas department crews, all of whom will be working to help provide access to equipment damaged in the storm.

O&R Emergency Preparedness planners also are consulting with neighboring utilities about the storm’s impact and have been discussing preparations with the various mutual aid organizations to which the Company belongs.

To help its customers prepare to weather a storm, O&R offers these tips:

  • For safety’s sake, don’t touch or approach any downed wire. Assume it is energized and dangerous. Call O&R immediately toll-free 1-877-434-4100. Depending on the situation, you may also want to call your local police to divert traffic until an O&R crew arrives.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 50 feet from downed wires and anything they are in contact with including puddles of water and fences. Supervise your children so that they are not in the vicinity and keep pets on a leash.
  • If a fallen wire is draped over a car, do not approach the car and make rescue attempts. Remain a safe distance away, and try to keep the occupant of the vehicle calm. If possible, emergency personnel should handle the situation.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food, bottled water, manual can opener, baby supplies and pet food. Set your refrigerator and freezer controls to their coldest settings.
  • Have emergency equipment within reach --- portable radio, flashlights, candles and matches, spare batteries, first aid kit, cell phone and important medications. Update your personal list of emergency phone numbers. Keep O&R’s toll-free number 1-877-434-4100 near the phone to report power outages.
  • If you experience a power outage, don’t assume that O&R automatically knows about it or that someone else will report it. To be sure the outage is reported, please call O&R toll-free at 1-877-434-4100 to let O&R know what happened. The more information you can provide, the more O&R can help you.
  • Remember, if the base station of your cordless phone plugs into the wall, your phone will be unusable during a power outage.
  • If a family member relies on electrically operated medical devices, secure a portable generator or make alternate arrangements for care. O&R does not provide customers with generators.
  • Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car. Consider having extra cash on hand, in case ATM machines don’t work.
  • Learn how to manually open and close any electrically powered garage door, security door or gate.

For more information, visit O&R’s Storm Center.