READING, Pa., Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed) has positioned approximately 290 line workers, 260 hazard responders, 430 forestry contractors and additional support personnel to respond to possible outages following the winter nor'easter, which began moving into the state this morning. The storm is expected to bring up to a foot of wet, heavy snow to portions of Met-Ed's service area this evening and into tomorrow.
Additional crews from FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utilities Penn Power, Mon Power, Potomac Edison, Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company, and Toledo Edison and outside contractors have arrived in eastern Pennsylvania to assist Met-Ed with anticipated restoration activities. The additional personnel and equipment have been strategically concentrated in the eastern and northern areas of Met-Ed's service territory where the storm is forecast to have the greatest impact. Met-Ed crews also are prepared to respond to issues that may occur in other areas as well.
"Met-Ed's emergency operations center is in full operation, and our crews are poised and ready to work round-the-clock in 16-hour shifts to restore power to every customer should the nor'easter storm cause service interruptions," said Mike Doran, president, Met-Ed. "We will be in close contact with emergency management, state and local officials and regulators to share information on our preparation and restoration activities."
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. FirstEnergy customer call centers are fully staffed.
For updated information on current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages. Met-Ed customers also can find the latest outage information via Twitter: @Met_Ed.
Met-Ed 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.
When a significant outage occurs, the priority for restoration starts with emergency services, including hospitals, police, fire and first aid. Repairs are scheduled based on restoring the most people the fastest. In areas with severe damage, it could take repairs in multiple locations to restore power to one location.
Customers are encouraged to be safe and prepare for the possibility of extended outages.
- Customers should immediately report downed wires to Met-Ed or local police or fire departments. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it's no longer carrying electricity. Don't walk or drive near or over a downed line, and watch out for anything touching the line. If a wire falls on a vehicle, passengers should stay inside until help arrives.
- Keep children and pets away from any wires.
- If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and consider filling your bathtub with fresh water.
- Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy. Use care when burning candles; open flames are a fire hazard.
- If power goes out, unplug appliances such as refrigerators and freezers, and sensitive electronic equipment such as TVs and computers so that they won't overload when power is restored.
- Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person.
- To prevent deadly carbon monoxide gas from building up in your home, do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources inside.
- Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.
- Keep a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand. Tune in to a local radio station for current storm information.
- 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 power is out. If you have a smart phone, this will ensure you have access to online information sources.
- 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.
Met-Ed serves approximately 550,000 customers in 15 Pennsylvania counties.
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.