National Grid Assembling Resources to Meet Challenges of the Next Storm Threatening New England
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 6, 2013
Contact: Media Relations, 781-907-3980
NATIONAL GRID ASSEMBLING RESOURCES TO MEET CHALLENGES OF THE NEXT STORM THREATENING NEW ENGLAND
High Winds and Heavy, Wet Snow Could Cause Power Interruptions; Safety Remains Priority No.1
Waltham, Mass. – It’s a well worn message that New Englanders are hearing today as yet another severe winter storm heads in our direction. National Grid is cautioning everybody to not let down their guard in preparing for the potential heavy snowfall and high winds that are expected to hit the region starting Wednesday night and possibly continuing into Friday.
The company has already secured more than 230 contractor line crews to assist company crews in restoring power, which could be interrupted as a result of the storm. In addition, approximately 190 tree crews will be on hand to assist in clearing trees that might keep the line crews from accessing downed electrical equipment. Wires down and damage assessment personnel also are at the ready.
“Despite the fact that spring is just over two weeks away, National Grid is ready for winter's final throes,” said Kathy Lyford, vice president, New England Operations for National Grid. “Once again, our employees are prepared to respond to the challenges we could face in the days ahead.”
And once again, National Grid is asking the public to assist in reporting outages and to keep themselves safe throughout the storm and during any service interruptions that might occur.
Customers Urged to Stay Connected
In addition to Outage Central at www.nationalgrid.com, National Grid offers a number of ways for customers to report outages or learn about restoration efforts and important safety information. Here’s how:
- Outage reporting hotline – Massachusetts and Rhode Island customers can call 1-800-465-1212 to report an outage.
- Text messages – Customers can receive text message alerts and updates through a free service the company offers. Text the word STORM to NGRID (64743) to sign up for the service.
- National Grid uses social media – Facebook and Twitter -- to communicate with customers about service issues and interruptions during storms.
- E-mail alerts are also available to customers who create an online profile on the company’s website. All alert services can be started and stopped at the customer’s request.
- Customers can use their mobile devices to track outage information and storm related safety tips through National Grid’s new mobile site that can be accessed at nationalgrid.com.
National Grid wants everyone to stay safe before, during and after the storm. Here are some tips to help customers avoid injuries and stay safe:
- People who depend on electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-322-3223.
- It’s a good idea to have a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home. A radio is a good way to stay in touch, as National Grid provides news media with timely information regarding service restoration efforts.
- If you plan to use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to only operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize crew safety.
- If you lose power, turn off any appliances that were on when the power went off, but leave one light on so you will know when power is restored.
- After the storm, be sure never to touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see a downed power line, keep everyone away and call us immediately at 1-800-465-1212.
- Power problems can sometimes interrupt public water supply systems or disable well pumps, so it’s an especially good idea to keep a supply of bottled drinking water handy, as well as some canned food.
- Please leave damaged poles alone. Handling or cutting utility poles—or burning them in your fireplace, woodstove or furnace—potentially exposes you to the chemicals used to treat and preserve these poles.
- Please drive carefully and use caution when driving near any repair crews working to restore power.
- Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.
In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.
National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to over one million LIPA customers. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com.