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news release

NYSEG and RG&E Remind Customers to Be Prepared for Power Outages

Rochester, NY – As part of Preparedness Month across New York, NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA, today encouraged customers to create an emergency plan and prepare a portable emergency supply kit with enough food, water, medications and other consumables to last seven to 10 days.

“Taking these actions now ensures safety and can help save lives in the event of an emergency,” said Mark S. Lynch, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E.

In the event of a power interruption, NYSEG and RG&E urge customers to:

  • Stay away from downed power lines – even lines that appear dead can be deadly. NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701.
  • Carefully read, understand and follow manufacturer’s instructions when operating an emergency generator. Never run emergency generators indoors; operate them only outdoors in well-ventilated areas and away from windows and doors.
  • Stay out of flooded basements because energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard. Natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger. If a basement or home is in danger of flooding, customers should contact their utilities to turn off electricity and/or natural gas service.

Before a Storm Strikes

  • Anyone who uses life-sustaining equipment that operates on electricity should contact NYSEG 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 or mobile device during a power interruption can also report the interruption online at nyseg.com and 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 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.

Preparedness Month is a national effort sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The 2015 National Preparedness Month theme is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” FEMA encourages Americans to create a family emergency communications plan that includes up-to-date contact information for individuals that may need to be reached during a disaster.

In addition to the overall Preparedness Month theme, the weekly theme for September 20 through 26 is power outages.