Preparing for ‘Hurricane Sandy’
Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) is among the many utilities along the East Coast keeping a wary eye on the weather forecast. Power outages in the region appear likely early next week if ‘Hurricane Sandy’ develops and tracks in the manner that some meteorologists are predicting.
While the hurricane could still move out to sea, experts say it is likely that it will track to New England and combine with a separate storm from the west. This result holds the potential for an historic storm that could cause serious damage, resulting in widespread power outages across the region.
PSNH is closely monitoring the situation. A number of local contractor crews have already been secured, and the company is working to retain additional line workers and support staff. A recent merger with Boston-based NSTAR now provides PSNH and other Northeast Utilities electric utility subsidiaries with direct access to additional line workers who, when available, can assist in a restoration effort here.
PSNH is a participant in regional utility mutual aid groups, which work to coordinate assistance when a significant event impacts a widespread region. Independent contractors are also utilized when large power outages occur, but their availability is often uncertain until a storm passes and the full extent and breadth of damage is understood. How many crews will be available to help, where they come from - and when, will be dictated by what damage Hurricane Sandy actually causes – and where help is needed the most.
Be prepared – While electric utilities like PSNH work around-the-clock to restore service when power outages occur, it is also important that families and individuals consider how they will respond, especially in the event of a major event that lasts for several days. “Our crews and support staff are prepared and ready to respond if outages do occur,” noted David Bickford, PSNH Director – Customer Operations. “It is vital that families and individuals also be prepared.” Bickford recommended that customers with emergency generators take advantage of this coming weekend to obtain fresh fuel, or other useful supplies. A list of preparedness tips and reminders is posted at www.psnh.com and at www.nh.gov/readynh/.
Generator Safety - Back-up/emergency generators can be very useful around your home or business. But, it’s critical to your safety and the safety of others, including PSNH electrical crews, that they be installed and operated properly. Guidelines are posted on the Safety section of our website.
Staying Informed – During major power restoration efforts, PSNH uses a variety of communication tools to keep the public informed. Customers can follow PSNH on twitter @psnh or on Facebook for real time updates. PSNH also uses a news blog, www.psnhnews.com, to post press releases, outage updates, and other important storm related information. Customers can also access PSNH’s outage map to see up to date outage information about their community.
|Mike Skelton||Communications Specialist|