NEW: National Grid Tells RI Residents to Stay Safe & Connected
Thursday, March 07, 2013
“Weather forecasts are calling for a mix of high winds, rain, sleet, snow and possible coastal flooding now through much of Friday,” National Grid said in a statement today. “The storm could cause power outages and if there is severe coastal flooding, natural gas service could be affected in some areas. National Grid has a full complement of line, tree, damage assessment and wires down crews at the ready to address any electric service interruptions, and has brought in more than 250 supplemental line crews and over 190 tree crews in case problems become more widespread.”
According to the company, storm management centers have been activated in around the state to manage storm response locally.
“National Grid’s Customer Service Center is staffed up and ready to take calls, and hundreds of employees are ready to support the restoration as needed with logistics, communications, engineering, materials and other critical functions and services,” it said.
National Grid offered a list of tips on how to prepare for the storm.
They are as follows:
* During and after the storm, be sure to stay clear of any 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. You can also use this number to report a power outage
* 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 the safety of crews working to restore power
* Be sure to use caution with alternate heat sources such as space heaters, fireplaces and wood-burning stoves. Always operate this equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and be sure to use proper ventilation to avoid potentially deadly carbon monoxide. Never ever use your oven as a heat source.* 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
* Please drive carefully and use caution when driving near utility and other crews responding to the storm
* Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage
National Grid also reminds residents that they can report and track outages on their website at www.nationalgrid.com.
Rhode Island customers can call 1-800-465-1212 to report an outage, can receive text message updates by texting the word STORM to NGRID (64743), can sign up for e-mail alerts from the company’s website and stay up-to-date with the latest storm-related news by checking out the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages.