FirstEnergy Corp. utility personnel are prepared to respond quickly to restore power to customers should Tropical Storm Isaias impact the areas where the company provides electric service.
Company meteorologists are tracking the storm system, which is forecast to move up the east coast into New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, with the possibility of producing heavy rain and very strong, sustained winds across the Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) and Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed) service territories throughout the day Tuesday.
The companies have established storm response plans, which include staffing additional dispatchers, damage assessors and analysts at regional dispatch offices, and arranging to bring in additional line, substation and forestry personnel, as needed, based on the severity of the weather.
As part of the storm planning process, JCP&L has secured additional resources to assist in the areas expected to be impacted in the coming days and is setting up staging sites in N.J. In addition, FirstEnergy has coordinated with contractors and electric industry mutual assistance organizations to secure additional resources to assist with storm restoration efforts should they be needed.
Met-Ed line crews will be assisted by contractors who are currently working on transmission and distribution projects across its service area. As the Tropical Storm path becomes more certain, FirstEnergy utilities will continue mobilizing resources to provide support to all expected storm impact areas.
Company representatives also have been in contact with emergency management officials, state officials, regulators and local officials about Tropical Storm Isaias preparation efforts.
During severe weather, customers who are without power are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the “Report Outage” link on www.firstenergycorp.com. Customers should immediately report downed wires to their utility or their local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity. Extra caution should be exercised in areas where downed wires may be tangled in downed tree branches or other debris.
For updated information on the company’s current outages, FirstEnergy’s storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.
FirstEnergy encourages customers to plan ahead for the possibility of electric service interruptions by following these tips:
- Keep flashlights and fresh batteries in your home. Avoid using candles to light your home, especially around children and pets.
- If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill your bathtub with fresh water.
- Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.
- Have a hard-wired telephone or a charged cell phone handy in the event you need to report your electricity is out. Mobile phones can be charged in your vehicle using a car charger when the power is out.
- Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person.
- Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources indoors. These can cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to build up in your home.
- Keep a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand. Tune to a local station for current storm information.
- Emergency power generators offer an option for customers needing or wanting uninterrupted service. However, to ensure the safety of the home’s occupants as well as that of utility company employees who may be working on power lines in the area, the proper generator should be selected and installed by a qualified electrician. When operating a generator, the power coming into the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.
FirstEnergy customers also can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive weather alerts in advance of major storms, and updates on scheduled or extended power outages. Customers can also use two-way text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts. More information about these communications tools is available online at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.