PEARL RIVER, NY March 6, 2013 1 p.m. — O&R has declared a company-wide Storm Watch today in anticipation of a significant storm system’s hitting the region today and continuing through Thursday into Friday.
Local weather forecasters are predicting heavy rain, changing to snow and high winds for today through Friday.
O&R Emergency Response Operations coordinators have been meeting since yesterday, examining weather forecasts and generally preparing their organizations for activation. The first-response organizations within the company have begun ramping up so they’ll be ready to go at the first sign of storm-related damage.
Increased staffing levels for this evening have been set for Electric Operations, the Energy Control Center, Customer Service, Damage Assessment, Site Safety, Transportation and Stores. Additional O&R overhead line, contractor and tree crews will be working tonight to address outages as they occur and that workforce will be supplemented 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.
- 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. Fill the bathtub with water.
- Have emergency equipment within reach — portable radio, flashlights, 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.
- Listen for storm alerts on the radio. In case of power outages, O&R will keep the stations updated on repair progress.
- 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 at www.oru.com.