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and Equipment Being Mobilized As the Storm Moves Northward; Customers Should Prepare for the Potential for Natural Gas Service Interruptions if Flooding Occurs October 29, 2012 – As Hurricane Sandy continues to track northward, National Grid is actively preparing in New York for potential high winds, torrential rains, and flooding in low-lying areas. “We urge customers to take precautions and prepare for the worst case scenario,” said Kenneth Daly, National Grid President for New York. “If there is extensive flooding, there also could be natural gas service interruptions.” National Grid has invested more than $1.5 billion dollars in strengthening its upstate New York electric distribution infrastructure in the past five years. As always, the company’s primary mission is safety. “Our first concern is the safety of the public and our employees,” Daly said. “We have been tracking Sandy very closely over the past several days, and preparedness plans have been deployed to make sure our crews are ready to respond as quickly and safely as possible.” -more-
NATIONAL GRID PREPARING FOR HURRICANE’S ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK 2/ Weather forecasters are suggesting Sandy could be a storm of unprecedented magnitude. In fact, some forecasts anticipate that Sandy could affect more than 60 million people across the Eastern US, including National Grid’s electricity and natural gas customers in upstate New York. Daly continued, “Once the storm passes and we see the extent of the damage it has caused, we’ll be able to better predict how long it may take to restore any electricity and natural gas service interruptions.” Click here to watch a video about how National Grid restores power after a major storm. In anticipation of Sandy, National Grid has activated its storm emergency plan. Several steps have already been taken to prepare for the possibility of service interruptions. These include the following: 1 Contacting our contractors with whom we regularly work for storm support Calling in extra crews; pre-staging crews and materials to areas anticipated to be most severely impacted Preparing to implement our incident command system to coordinate preparation and restoration efforts throughout the event Continuous monitoring of the storm and positioning our resources to best respond to storm outages Identifying low-lying, flood-prone areas and natural gas facilities for monitoring and potential isolation Ensuring that key areas such as operations and customer call centers are appropriately staffed Provide public updates when necessary and continue to stay in contact with local and state emergency and public safety officials. The company has already reached out to emergency management officials across upstate New York to discuss storm preparation and service restoration plans. Municipal officials have been contacted throughout the region to keep them updated on preparations and to provide contact and safety information that can be passed along to constituents in the event of severe damage from the winds. Public Information Outreach National Grid provides a number of channels for customers to learn about service issues and interruptions during storms. 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. 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. National Grid also provides storm and restoration updates through Facebook and Twitter. -more-
NATIONAL GRID PREPARING FOR HURRICANE’S ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK 3/ Safety First National Grid advises customers to be prepared for service interruptions. 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. Also, post National Grid’s emergency outage reporting number — 1-800-867-5222 — near your telephone so it will be handy if needed. National Grid provides real-time outage information, including the option to report an outage at www.nationalgridus.com in the Outage Central section of the company web pages. National Grid offers the following tips for customers to minimize inconvenience and maximize safety in the event that storm-related power interruptions do occur. 1 Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid or your local emergency response organization. 1 If you 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. 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. 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 1-800-642-4272. National Grid customers who experience outages should call National Grid’s outage line at 1800-867-5222 immediately to expedite restoration. Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period. -more-
NATIONAL GRID PREPARING FOR HURRICANE’S ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK 4/ Gas Safety National Grid asks that you be on high alert for gas service interruptions caused by severe flooding. 1 If you have no gas service or if you smell natural gas, contact us as soon as possible at 1-800892-2345 Do not turn off the gas meter even in the event of an evacuation. The gas meter should be left on to maintain proper pressure in the gas piping within the house and to prevent water from entering the lines should flooding occur. Most gas appliances have safety valves that shut off the flow of gas automatically if the pilot light goes out. If your appliances have been in contact with water, please contact a licensed plumbing or heating contractor to make sure the appliances are safe to operate. If we have shut your gas service off for safety reasons, please contact a licensed plumbing or heating contractor before contacting National Grid. The licensed plumbing or heating contractor will make sure that your service is safe to restore. Don’t forget to check outdoor appliances, such as pool heaters and gas grills. Listen for important announcements on television and radio from emergency officials about possible evacuations or other emergency procedures. Customers also can stay in touch with National Grid by following the company on Facebook, Twitter and on our website www.nationalgridus.com. Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period. Time-Tested Plan Restores Power Quickly When a power outage occurs in your neighborhood, it may in fact be affecting thousands of customers. How do we get customers back on line? National Grid emergency crews follow a time-tested plan to begin restoring service as safely and quickly as conditions allow. Accurate damage surveys, resource assessments and restoration estimates are critical in the preliminary stages of any major weather event. National Grid crews perform damage surveys as soon as possible during and after the weather-related incidents following established safety guidelines. -more-
NATIONAL GRID PREPARING FOR HURRICANE’S ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK 5/ Credible and consistent communication with local public officials and the media is maintained throughout the duration of the restoration effort by in-person updates between National Grid personnel and state and local officials, regular media updates, and updates to Outage Central. As damage assessments are underway, our crews clear away hazards such as live, downed lines. The clean-up of storm-damaged trees and branches removed from our electric facilities remains the responsibility of the customer or property owner, whether private or municipal. Next come repairs to main transmission facilities, including towers, poles and hightension wires that deliver power from generating plants. Recovery work at local substations is also a high priority, because power flows from transmission lines through substations on its way to you. Circuits and transformers in neighborhoods and the wires that connect them to your home come next—starting with areas that involve the most customers. While waiting for your power to return, please know that we’re doing everything we can to restore electric service as quickly as possible.
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