NYSEG and RG&E Preparing for Possible Effects of Mixed Bag of Weather
Companies Encourage Customers to Monitor the Forecast and Stay Safe
Rochester, NY – Emergency planners at NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA, are preparing for possible power interruptions as a nasty winter storm bears down on the Northeast. While some areas may see heavy, wet snow, other regions may experience ice or high winds that could damage electricity delivery systems.
“Every hour of every day, we are prepared to respond to power interruptions, but in a case like this all of our employees across the state are on heightened alert,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E. “Our customer relations centers and operations personnel are prepared, and we are ensuring that materials are on hand to repair any damage to our electricity delivery systems.”
“We always encourage our customers to be prepared for dangerous storms and the possibility of service interruptions,” Lynch said. “Most importantly, we urge them to stay safe.”
Power Restoration Priorities
NYSEG’s and RG&E’s first priority is responding to known incidents of downed power lines to make the situations safe. (NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed wires; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701.) Once this vital public safety work is complete, the companies will:
• Assess the damage to the electricity delivery system.
• Develop a detailed restoration plan.
• Make repairs as quickly as possible.
How We Go About Restoring Power Following Major Storms
We first repair the backbone of the electricity system – transmission lines and substations – that bring electricity to the local distribution system that serves our customers. We then make any necessary repairs to the distribution system that includes the poles and power lines along streets and roads, focusing first on those circuits where we can restore power to the largest number of customers. As part of this process, we take into account the needs of hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police stations, as well as any other critical infrastructure. We also focus on our customers who depend on electrically-operated life support equipment. This is a time-proven process that ensures we safely restore service as quickly and efficiently as possible.
NYSEG and RG&E offer the following reminders:
Before a Storm Strikes
- Anyone who uses life-sustaining equipment that operates on electricity should contact their utility right away (NYSEG: 1.800.572.1111; RG&E: 1.800.743.2110). Customers may be enrolled in a critical customer program or provided specific advice on how to prepare for power interruptions.
- Keep flashlights, a battery-powered radio or TV and fresh batteries handy.
- Have at least one telephone that is not dependent on electricity. (Cordless phones won’t work during a power interruption.)
- Keep a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand.
- Make sure cell phone batteries are fully charged.
During a Power Interruption
- Contact neighbors to see if their power is off. A loss of power may be the result of a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.
- To report a power interruption, contact NYSEG at 1.800.572.1131; RG&E at 1.800.743.1701. Our telephone systems let callers report the problem, help our crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provide customers with power interruption updates. Because many people may be trying to reach us during a power interruption, phone lines may be busy. Anyone who has access to a working computer during a power interruption can also report the interruption online at nyseg.com or rge.com.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio for weather and power restoration updates.
- Turn off major appliances (electric water heaters, refrigerators and freezers) and sensitive electronic equipment (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers, audio equipment) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean unplugging it, turning off a circuit breaker or removing a fuse for the circuit that provides power to this equipment. Leave one light switch “on” to know when power has been restored.
- Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.
- Never use outdoor grills or stoves inside.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.
After Power Is Restored
- If a basement or home was flooded, customers should have an electrician check the home and have a plumbing and heating contractor check natural gas appliances before contacting NYSEG or RG&E to have services turned on.
- Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading circuits.
- Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.