As Hurricane Sandy moves toward New England, Connecticut Light and Power has opened its emergency operations center.
CL&P has activated its emergency response plan, opened its Emergency Operations Center, put out a request for more line crews and is making preparations for storm damage and restoration, according to a news release from CL&P.
"We are prepared & ready respond but there is no way to prevent widespread outages in the face of devastating storm like #Sandy," CL&P said via Twitter on Monday.
"We’re closely monitoring weather forecasts and preparing for high winds and heavy rain that can devastate the electric system and cause power outages,” Bill Quinlan, CL&P Senior Vice President of Emergency Preparedness said. "The past year has been all about improving storm response, and we stand ready to respond as quickly and safely as possible. While we hope for the best, we all need to prepare for the worst.”
"We are ready and prepared to respond quickly and safely," Mitch Gross, of Connecticut Light & Power said in a phone interview with NBC Connecticut on Thursday.
CL&P has put out a request for 2,000 line workers from the Midwest to be in the state by Sunday. The company has also requested 700 tree workers. As of Monday, CL&P has commitments for 1,060 of those additional line workers and 500 additional tree workers. They still have requests out for more.
United Illuminating is also preparing and bringing in out-of-state resources.
“We’ve been watching the movement of Hurricane Sandy for several days now,” said Joseph Thomas, vice president, Electric Systems Operations and Client Fulfillment. “While it’s still too early to know precisely if and when the storm could reach our area, we have put plans in place so we are prepared and our staff has been alerted, along with contractor support.”
UI has held a series of meetings and ongoing preparation sessions internally and is providing municipal officials with information about UI’s plans and updates on status. The company has also contacted additional contract crews.
“These sorts of storms can be very unpredictable and difficult to plan for,” Anthony Vallillo, UI’s president and chief operating officer, said. “However, we have begun preparations to handle whatever this storm might bring.”
Report problems: Always assume downed power lines are live and dangerous, and be mindful of natural gas odors. If you see a downed power line, need to report an electrical power outage, or smell natural gas, please call your utility toll-free with the location and any specifics. Keep these numbers handy and programmed into your mobile phone.
- The United Illuminating Company: 800-7-CALL-UI (800-722-5584)
- Southern Connecticut Gas Company: 1-800-513-8898
- Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation: at 1-866-924-5325
- Berkshire Gas Company: 1-800-292-5012
Norwich Public Utilities is also preparing.
“As in the past, NPU crews are prepared to handle whatever issues arise from this storm. Our standard procedure, once we learn of a potential storm approaching our region, is to begin organizing resources, positioning our assets, and preparing our crews,” stated John Bilda, General Manager. “Norwich’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) is located at our facility so we are prepared to coordinate response efforts with other city departments and assist wherever possible.”
City officials and emergency personnel gathered at the City’s EOC for the first of several planned storm briefings. The next NOAA briefing will take place on Friday, Oct. 26.
Basic Emergency Supply Kit
- One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- A whistle to signal for help
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger.
Family Emergency Plan
- Identify an out-of town contact. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
- Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
- Teach family members how to use text messaging. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
- Subscribe to alert services. Many communities/states now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know about severe weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc. In Connecticut, go to www.ct.gov/ctalert to register for alerts.
For more information on Hurricane Preparedness, visit ct.gov/hurricane.