GMP Prepares for Tropical Storm Sandy
26 October 2012
GMP prepares for Tropical Storm Sandy, offers safety advice to customers
Green Mountain Power is in the midst of preparing for Tropical Storm Sandy and is advising customers of the potential for strong winds and rain that could cause power outages throughout Vermont early next week.
To ensure it is prepared for all potential impacts of the storm, GMP has secured 108 external contract line and tree crews from as far away as Florida, Tennessee and Ontario, in addition to the 71 internal line crews and 65 contract tree crews that perform routine maintenance work on the system.
“These crews are scheduled to arrive overnight Sunday into Monday. Once they arrive, they will receive safety briefings and we will efficiently deploy them to the areas of greatest need so we can restore power as quickly as possible,” GMP spokesman Jeremy Baker said.
GMP, which serves about 250,000 customers throughout Vermont, is also organizing its internal support staff, ensuring clear lines of communication with customers and local emergency management officials and taking efforts to lower the levels of its various reservoirs at hydro power generation facilities.
“With any kind of weather event, there is always some level of uncertainty in terms of the intensity and path of a storm system,” Baker said. “Therefore, we have made great efforts over the past four days or so to plan and prepare for the absolute worst-case scenario, though we are all hoping that won’t be the situation.”
GMP is urging customers to do the same by gathering various essential items including plenty of food and water, as well as flashlights and batteries. GMP also recommends that customers check on any elderly friends, family or neighbors that may be affected by a power outage.
GMP also offers the following advice:
- Before outages occur, be sure you have a phone that is hard-wired and does not rely on electricity.
- Fill a bathtub with water before you lose service so the water can be used to flush toilets when the power is out. PREVENT UNSUPERVISED BATHROOM ACCESS TO CHILDREN.
- Treat any downed line as if it is live. Report the line to your local utility and fire department, stay at least 50 feet away from the line, and keep children and pets away as well.
- If using a generator, read and follow the owner’s manual before starting it. Never operate a generator inside any structure or near a structure. Use a transfer switch to ensure electricity is not accidentally fed onto a line where line crews must work.
- Keep freezers and refrigerators closed as much as possible to prevent food spoilage.
- If power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances except one light so you’ll know when service returns. Then, turn equipment back on slowly.
- Never use grills inside garages, sheds or other buildings, as the fumes can be poisonous.
Customers may report an outage by calling 1-888-835-4672, visiting GMP’s Outage Center page at www.greenmountainpower.com or by clicking the “Power Out?” button on GMP’s Facebook site.
Jeremy Baker, Green Mountain Power 802-747-5860