MORRISTOWN, N.J., Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As a large-scale winter nor'easter storm gathers strength on the East Coast, Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) is mobilizing additional FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utility crews and internal resources to assist with the restoration process should the storm impact customers' electric service.
Up to a foot of wet, heavy snow and high winds are predicted to hit parts of JCP&L's northern New Jersey service territory tomorrow and into the weekend.
"Based on current forecasts, we have activated our storm preparation and restoration process and are proactively staging additional out-of-state FirstEnergy crews in New Jersey to get them in position ahead of the snow to minimize the impact the severe weather could have on our customers," said Don Lynch, president, JCP&L. "In addition to the JCP&L personnel that are on alert, the linemen, vehicles and supplies provided by other FirstEnergy utilities will help speed the restoration process if the wet snow and winds damage our equipment and cause service interruptions."
All available JCP&L crews and support personnel will work around-the-clock, as needed, to restore service if customers are affected by the severe weather. They will be assisted by more than 100 crews and additional support personnel from FirstEnergy's Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison utilities that are expected to arrive in New Jersey today and will be ready to begin restoration work when the storm hits as forecast.
Other steps JCP&L is taking to prepare for the nor'easter include:
- Securing additional tree contractors to assist with the outage restoration process
- Communicating with emergency management officials, state officials, regulators and local officials about our storm preparation efforts
- Activating staging areas for crews and equipment in locations expected to be impacted by the storm based on current predictions and modeling
- Working with mutual assistance groups to determine if outside utility crews would be available to assist in New Jersey, if needed.
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. JCP&L customers can find the latest information on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL or on Twitter @JCP_L.
JCP&L customers also can utilize a new free smartphone app to report outages and access important information and services related to their electric accounts. The app is available for Apple® iPhone® and Android™ smartphones. Customers can use the keyword "FirstEnergy" to locate the apps in the online store. A new mobile website is also available to customers who use a smartphone to visit www.jcp-l.com.
FirstEnergy customer call centers will be fully staffed. 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 via smartphone.
In a large-scale weather event, the company encourages customers to plan ahead for the possibility of electric service interruptions by following these tips:
Safety Tips During Outages
- 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.
- Make sure you have fresh batteries in a portable radio so you can stay tuned to your local radio station for updates on our progress to restore power.
- 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. If you have a smart phone, this will ensure you have access to online information sources.
- Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person.
- Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources to prevent deadly carbon monoxide gas from building up in your home.
- Keep a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand. Tune to a local station for current storm information.
- Customers should immediately report downed wires to JCP&L or local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it's no longer carrying electricity.
- Don't try to remove trees or tree limbs from power lines. Wait for utility crews to arrive.
- 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.
JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia. Its generation subsidiaries control more than 20,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro, pumped-storage hydro and other renewables. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.