Here’s the news release with the information:
Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc. has declared a company-wide Storm Watch today in anticipation of a significant storm system’s hitting the region later this evening and continuing into Wednesday and Thursday.
Local weather forecasters are predicting heavy rain and high winds to begin late tonight. The rain is due to continue overnight through mid-afternoon Wednesday. The high winds, gusty at times much as they were last Sunday, are expected to last through much of the day Thursday.
Heavy winds could knock trees into power lines, causing poles and lines to come down and customers to lose power. O&R urges the public to stay away from downed lines, as those wires could be live and dangerous.
O&R Emergency Response Operations coordinators are meeting throughout the day today, examining weather forecasts and generally preparing their organizations for activation. The first-response organizations within the company will be ramped up so they are ready to work at the first sign of storm-related damage.
Depending on the severity of the storm damage, crews will give priority to repairing equipment that will restore power to the most customers as quickly as possible, then move on to restore smaller groups and then individual customers who are without power.
To help its customers prepare to weather a storm, O&R offers these tips:
– For safety’s sake, don’t touch or approach any downed wire. Assume it is energized and dangerous. Call O&R immediately toll-free 1-877-434-4100. Depending on the situation, you may also want to call your local police to divert traffic until an O&R crew arrives.
– Maintain a distance of at least 50 feet from downed wires and anything they are in contact with including puddles of water and fences. Supervise your children so that they are not in the vicinity and keep pets on a leash.
– If a fallen wire is draped over a car, do not approach the car and make rescue attempts. Remain a safe distance away, and try to keep the occupant of the vehicle calm. If possible, emergency personnel should handle the situation.
– Stock up on non-perishable food, bottled water, manual can opener, baby supplies and pet food. Set your refrigerator and freezer controls to their coldest settings. Fill the bathtub with water.
– Have emergency equipment within reach — portable radio, flashlights, candles and matches, spare batteries, first aid kit, cell phone and important medications. Update your personal list of emergency phone numbers. Keep O&R’s toll-free number 1-877-434-4100 near the phone to report power outages.
– If you experience a power outage, don’t assume that O&R automatically knows about it or that someone else will report it. To be sure the outage is reported, please call O&R toll-free at 1-877-434-4100 to let O&R know what happened. The more information you can provide, the more O&R can help you.
– Remember: if the base station of your cordless phone plugs into the wall, your phone will be unusable during a power outage.
– If a family member relies on electrically operated medical devices, secure a portable generator or make alternate arrangements for care. O&R does not provide customers with generators.
– Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car. Consider having extra cash on-hand, in case ATM machines don’t work.
– Listen for storm alerts on the radio. In case of power outages, O&R will keep the stations updated on repair progress.
– Learn how to manually open and close any electrically powered garage door, security door or gate.
For more information, visit O&R’s Storm Center at www.oru.com.