With Heavy Weather Predicted, O&R Offers Safety Tips
To help its customers cope with the heavy rain and strong winds predicted for Friday night into Saturday, O&R offers some tips to better weather the storm.
Severe storm activity has the potential to cause power line damage and electric service interruptions. O&R crews will be ready to repair damage and restore service Friday and through the weekend as needed.
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.
- 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.
There are several ways customers can report outages and check service restoration status:
- 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: