AKRON, Ohio, Jan. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of the preparation efforts in advance of Winter Storm Harper, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utilities have secured more than 2,300 additional resources, including 1,300 electrical contractors, to assist in the company areas expected to be impacted the most this weekend.
Beginning Saturday and into Sunday, the severe weather is expected to produce heavy snow, freezing rain, ice and high winds along a line that runs from central Ohio across Pennsylvania and into northern New Jersey.
Jersey Central Power & Light additional resources include:
- 500 electrical contractors
- 200 forestry contractors
- 200 hazard responders
- 100 damage assessors
- 100 support personnel
- Staging site in Livingston
Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed) additional resources include:
- 226 electrical contractors
- 100 hazard responders
- 90 damage assessors
- 50 public protectors
- Staging site in Easton
Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec) additional resources include:
- 150 electrical contractors
- 80 hazard responders
West Penn Power additional resources include:
- 332 electrical contractors
- 60 hazard responders
- 15 damage assessors
- Staging site in New Stanton
Ohio Edison additional resources include:
- 120 electrical contractors in Springfield area
All of FirstEnergy's electric utilities have implemented storm response plans and employees are prepared to work 16-hour shifts around the clock until all power outages caused by Winter Storm Harper have been restored. In addition, the company has been in contact with electrical contractors and electric industry mutual assistance organizations about the possibility of securing additional resources to assist with storm restoration efforts should they be needed.
"We have proactively brought in additional electrical contractors to assist our own utility personnel should Winter Storm Harper cause wide spread power outages in the areas we serve," said Sam Belcher, senior vice president of FirstEnergy and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "In addition, staging sites are being finalized in several areas to ensure the additional personnel is able begin the restoration process in a safe and effective manner."
FirstEnergy utilities include Jersey Central Power & Light in New Jersey: Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed), Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power), and West Penn Power in Pennsylvania; Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison in Ohio; Mon Power in West Virginia; and Potomac Edison in Maryland and West Virginia.
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. In the event of severe weather, customers should immediately report downed wires to their utility or their local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity. Extra caution should be exercised in areas where downed wires may be tangled in downed tree branches or other debris.
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.
Customers are encouraged to prepare for the possibility of outages caused by severe winter weather:
- Keep electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops and tablet computers fully charged to be ready for any emergencies.
- Keep a flashlight, portable radio and extra batteries handy in the event a power interruption occurs. Tune to a local station for current storm information.
- Never use a portable generator inside the house or a closed garage in the event of a power outage. Ensure the proper generator is 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.
- 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.
- If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill your bathtub with fresh water.
- Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.
- 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.
FirstEnergy customers also can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive weather alerts in advance of major storms, and updates on scheduled or extended power outages. Customers can also use two-way text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts. More information about these communications tools is available online at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.
FirstEnergy is 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 Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Visit FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and Follow FirstEnergy and its operating companies on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp, @ToledoEdison, @IlluminatingCo, @OhioEdison, @MonPowerWV, @JCP_L, @Penn_Power, @Penelec, @Met_Ed, @PotomacEdison, @W_Penn_Power.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.