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O&R Posts Safety Tips as Snow Expected Thursday

A winter storm packing snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected to move through the area Thursday into Friday, delivering the region’s first appreciable snow of the season.

As a result, Orange & Rockland (O&R) is urging its customers to put safety first if confronted by any storm-related damage on the overhead electric system.


Snow and freezing rain could snap tree limbs or even topple trees onto power lines, causing customers to lose power. The resulting damaged equipment poses a potential safety risk. O&R urges customers to stay away from downed wires and transformers, and to take other safety precautions as needed.


O&R crews will be ready to repair storm damage and restore service as needed.      


Text Us If You’re Out


If you experience a power outage, do not assume that O&R automatically knows about it or that someone else will report it. To ensure your outage is reported, Text “OUT” to 69678 (MyORU). You can also sign up for Text Alerts at


Customers also can report outages and check service restoration status if they:

  • Go to the O&R website from any computer or web-enabled mobile device;
  • Use the O&R mobile app from your iPhone, iPad or Android device
  • Text “OUT” to 69678 (myORU); or
  • Call Customer Assistance at 1-877-434-4100
  • The following video describes the typical storm repair and power restoration process:


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 or otherwise secure.
  • 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.
  • Pole-top transformers -- those small grey-colored metal drums attached to the wires at the tops of most utility poles -- also should be avoided when they have been knocked to the ground. Those transformers, which are used to reduce the voltage of electricity so that it can be used inside buildings, are filled with oil which could be a health and an environmental hazard.  Under no circumstance should anyone approach any oil spill and/or any electrical equipment. Individuals should also remain clear of the leaking oil. Do not walk or drive through oil which has spilled onto the ground.
  • Portable generators pose a serious hazard if used improperly. They should be used and installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A wrong connection could feed electricity back through the lines and endanger our repair crews. Never plug a generator into a wall unit, use it indoors or set it up outdoors near open home windows or air-handling vents.
  • When temperatures dip and you’re without power, don’t use a natural gas powered oven or range to heat a room, and do not use a charcoal grill inside your home. Doing so could create either a fire hazard or a life-threatening exposure to carbon monoxide gas.
  • Have emergency equipment within reach --- portable radio, flashlights, spare batteries, first aid kit, cell phone and important medications. 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.


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