Weekly Feature

2013-10-09 / Business

National Grid provides emergency preparedness, safety tips

On the heels of the second anniversary of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, and as the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy quickly approaches, National Grid helps customers to plan ahead, be prepared and stay safe in the event of an emergency.

During National Emergency Preparedness Month in September, National Grid continues its own efforts to improve its emergency preparedness plans and wants to remind customers to plan ahead and prepare for emergencies. Taking action now, before an emergency strikes, will help customers efficiently and safely manage crises that can upset their daily routines.

“Our top priority for customers is safety. During National Emergency Preparedness Month, National Grid is reminding our customers about the importance of planning for emergencies in advance, so they know what they need to do to take care of themselves and their families, and to help others in their communities,” said Ken Daly, president, National Grid New York. “The storms that impacted our region over the last several years caused significant damage and devastated communities. Our customers’ preparedness was critical to National Grid’s response and restoration efforts and helped our crews to make considerable strides to get the lights back on and gas flowing quickly and safely.”

At National Grid, being prepared for emergencies is a priority. The company routinely reviews and enhances its emergency response plans and conducts drills and employee training to reinforce employees’ ability to contribute during storms and participate in service restoration efforts.

“We know customers depend on National Grid, which is why we are continuously working hard to improve preparedness in every community we serve,” Daly said.

National Grid also continuously maintains and strengthens the reliability of its electric and gas system. Additionally, the company has an award-winning vegetation management program that promotes tree maintenance to help minimize tree-related power outages or damage to the network - before storms hit – a leading cause of service interruptions.

National Grid offers the following tips to help customers prepare for emergencies:

Build an emergency supply kit. Water, nonperishable food, first aid materials, prescriptions, flashlight and a battery-powered radio are a few of the items that are critical to include in an Emergency Supply Toolkit. A fully stocked toolkit and well-thought-out emergency plan could mean the difference between life and death. Emergency supply kits should include basic tools and survival items. For a complete list of recommended Emergency Supply Toolkit items, visit www.ready.gov.

Plan for locations. Emergencies and disasters occur without warning, which is why it’s important to have a plan, as well as supplies, for the different locations you and your family may frequent. These locations include home, work, school, vehicles, places of worship, shopping areas, and entertainment/sports locations like theaters and arenas. How will you get to a safe place? How will you contact one another? How will you get back together? These are all important things to consider when creating your plan. Visit www.ready.gov to download the Family Emergency Plan and send it to your family and friends.

Plan for risks. Think about where you live and identify the hazards that have happened or could happen in your area. Residents living in the North or the mountains may need to plan more for snowstorms, but residents who live along the coast may be more affected by hurricanes. Depending upon the nature of the emergency and your circumstances, one of the first important decisions is whether to stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. No matter where you live, make sure you plan accordingly. For more information on risk planning, visit www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.

Know your community’s plan. Find out from local government how it communicates with residents in an emergency. This could be in the form of radio/TV broadcasts, telephone, door-to-door notifications or a community siren. Get informed now so you can stay informed when it counts.

Customers can also visit the Outage Central webpage to view “Power Outages: Preparation and Restoration,” a video that provides a comprehensive look at the steps National Grid takes to prepare for and prevent outages.

For more information on National Preparedness Month, and how you can get started with a plan and emergency toolkit, visit www.ready.gov or www.redcross.org. Customers can reach National Grid directly through its toll-free customer service line at 1-800-642-4272.

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