NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) Company, New Jersey's largest electric and gas utility, is closely monitoring the track of the approaching nor'easter and is making emergency preparations should the storm bring heavy snow and strong winds to our service territory. At this time, the storm is expected to begin impacting New Jersey on Friday and continue through Saturday, with the full brunt of the storm hitting the area on Friday night.
In anticipation of the storm, PSE&G is taking the following steps to ensure that the utility is ready to respond to what may be widespread power outages:
- Ensuring that all available personnel are ready to respond beginning Friday.
- Arranging for contractors, including tree crews, to assist the utility's own skilled workforce.
- Ensuring that additional supplies, such as poles, transformers and other pole-top equipment, are on hand.
- Ensuring that all vehicles are fueled and ready to go.
- Testing generators at utility locations.
- Coordinating with county and municipal emergency management personnel to inform them of outages and expedite restoration efforts.
Snow, by itself, does not pose a serious problem for utilities, but heavy snow, icing and strong winds can increase the possibility of downed wires and associated power outages. Cars striking utility poles can also cause wires to come down. And cold weather can affect the number of calls we receive from customers with insufficient or no heat.
Depending on the severity of the storm, response times for both electric and gas emergency services may be longer than usual. PSE&G asks for our customers' patience and cooperation as we work to safely restore service as quickly as possible. As the storm gets closer, the utility will provide information about estimated restoration times.
To report downed wires or power outages, customers should call PSE&G's Customer Service line at 1-800-436-PSEG. PSE&G uses an automated system to handle customer calls as efficiently as possible. Customers who get an automated response when calling PSE&G are encouraged to use it, as it is designed to route their calls to the right destination quickly. The system also provides the option to speak directly to a customer service representative. If you have specific information regarding damage to wires, transformers or poles, we ask that you speak with a representative to provide that information.
Customers with a handheld device, or who are at an alternate location with power, can also report power outages and view the status of their outage by logging in to My Account at pseg.com.
General outage activity throughout our service territory is available online at www.pseg.com/outagecenter and updates are posted on pseg.com during severe weather.
In addition, if outages are widespread, the utility will activate its Twitter page to keep the public informed about our restoration progress. Sign up as a follower at http://twitter.com/psegdelivers to monitor restoration progress.
This storm clearly has the potential to interrupt service, and customers should prepare for the possibility of long outages. PSE&G offers the following tips:
DOWNED POWER LINES
Accumulation of ice and heavy snow may weigh down power lines and as a result cause power lines to come down. Downed wires may appear dead but should always be considered "live." STAY AWAY FROM ALL DOWNED LINES. Do not approach or drive over a downed line and do not touch anything that it might be in contact with. Parents are urged to check for downed wires in areas where their children might play and to remind the children to stay far away from any wires. If a wire falls on a vehicle, passengers should stay in the vehicle until help arrives. To report a downed wire, call 1-800-436-PSEG and tell PSE&G the nearest cross street.
CUSTOMERS WITH LIFE-SUSTAINING EQUIPMENT
Individuals who rely on electricity to operate life-sustaining electronic equipment, such as a respirator or dialysis machine, should pre-register with PSE&G to receive priority attention in the event of an outage. To request the service, call PSE&G at 1-800-436-PSEG. They should also inform their rescue squads and fire departments of their needs, in case of emergency. Even though customers with life-sustaining equipment who have registered with PSE&G will receive priority attention during outages, they should also have emergency back-up equipment on hand, since immediate restoration cannot be guaranteed.
IF YOU LOSE POWER
First check your neighborhood. If you are the only one without power, check your fuse box for tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses. If that's not the problem, look outside at the wire between your house and the utility pole. If it is down, report it immediately to PSE&G.
Mother Nature can be unpredictable. It's wise to have an emergency kit on hand year round. Here are some things to include:
- A battery powered radio.
- A corded telephone. (Cordless phones will not work if the power is out.)
- Flashlights and extra fresh batteries.
- A first-aid kit.
- Bottled water and an adequate supply of non-perishable food.
- A non-electric can opener.
- Matches and candles with holders.
- Extra blankets and sleeping bags.
- A list of emergency phone numbers, including PSE&G's Customer Service line: 1-800-436-PSEG. Call this number to report power outages or downed wires.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey's oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state's population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE: PEG), a diversified energy company (www.pseg.com).
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SOURCE Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G)