With hurricane season in full swing company urges customers to plan ahead
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – States on the lower East Coast are preparing for the arrival of a potentially catastrophic Hurricane Irma, while hundreds of thousands in the Gulf continue to grapple with the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. September is National Emergency Preparedness Month and National Grid is encouraging its Upstate New York customers to take action and be prepared, as severe storms continue to disrupt daily life and put more lives at risk.
“This month in particular, as our country deals with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the potential for an even stronger storm in Florida, we’re reminding our customers about the importance of planning ahead,” said Ken Daly, President of National Grid in New York. “Safety is our number one priority, and we want to ensure our customers can properly prepare and take care of themselves, their families, and their communities. Preparedness is critical to the well-being of our customers and it helps our crews restore power quickly and safely.”
In addition to emergency preparedness efforts and to work quickly and safely to restore power in an outage, National Grid partners closely with the American Red Cross to prepare the communities it serves for natural disasters.
As part of the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, National Grid operates behind the scenes with the Red Cross and first responders to address the basic needs of its customers, such as food, shelter and water, during an emergency. The Annual Disaster Giving Program allows the Red Cross to help communities prepare for and recover from natural disasters. With support from National Grid and other companies, the Red Cross is able to respond to nearly 70,000 disasters each year. Recently, National Grid pledged an additional $100,000 to Red Cross to aid in responding to Hurricane Harvey.
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, batteries and a battery-powered radio are critical items to have in an emergency supply toolkit. A well-thought-out emergency plan and a fully stocked toolkit could mean the difference between life and death. For a complete list of recommended items for your Emergency Supply Toolkit, visit here.
Plan your locations
Emergencies and disasters occur without warning, making it important to have a plan and the supplies you will need for the different locations you and your family frequent beyond your home: work, school, vehicles, places of worship, for example, along with shopping areas and entertainment/sports sites such as theaters, ball fields and arenas. How will you get to a safe place? How will you contact one another? How will you get back together, if separated? These are all important questions to consider when creating your plan. Visit here to download the Family Emergency Plan and share with family and friends.
Anticipate your risks
Think about where you live and identify the hazards that have happened or could occur in your area. Residents in areas that usually receive significant snowfall might plan more for snowstorms, while 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 to make 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.
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.
Stay connected to National Grid
Online at nationalgrid.com, complete information on managing storms and outages is available here. Under our Storms and Outage page, National Grid’s Outage Central webpage provides customers with multiple ways to receive restoration updates, safety tips, important phone numbers, and more. After checking the top banner to confirm or reset their region, customers can sign up to receive text and email alerts, connect through Facebook and Twitter, and report or check on power outages.
- Broadcast Text Alerts
Customers can opt-in to receive broadcast text alerts by texting the word STORM to NGRID (64743). Customers must verify the state where they are located and will then be registered to receive updates for their state.
- Email Alerts
Customers can sign up to receive storm alert emails and get easy access to outage reporting, e-billing and more here. They can opt out of email alerts anytime by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of every National Grid customer email.
- Social Media
Customers can follow National Grid on Twitter @nationalgridus and connect with National Grid on Facebook for company information or news specific to their service area. Customers can also visit YouTube to view “Power Outages: Preparation and Restoration,” a video that provides a comprehensive look at how National Grid prepares for and prevents outages.
Take advantage of apps
Customers who access nationalgrid.com on their mobile devices can stay connected during service interruptions and get safety information here or download the National Grid mobile app from the iTunes or Google Play stores sites on their devices. From the mobile site or app, customers can view outage maps, report an outage, check the status of an outage, and view restoration information by area.
The app and mobile website also provide important storm safety tips and answer frequently asked questions, along with offering contact information for National Grid customer service at 1-800-642-4272).
The American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Association are among many organizations that offer downloadable mobile apps for first aid, shelter locations, and disaster assistance. For more information or to download these apps, visit here or here . To view the American Red Cross “Be Red Cross Ready” website, visit here.
National Grid encourages customers to find volunteer opportunities to support community readiness. Taking an active role in community planning and preparation, supporting relief efforts, and donating funds or goods when you are able can help your neighbors in times of disaster.