Residents should be prepared for power outages of up to 10 days from the anticipated impact of Hurricane Sandy, according to a release from the parent company of JCP&L.
FirstEnergy Corp, which owns the local utility company along with several others on the East Coast, said in a release that the oncoming storm could wreak havoc with the electrical system and residents should be prepared to be without power for more than a week.
The company is securing outside utility crews, electrical contractor and tree trimmers to assist a beefed up response crew and support workers to help restore power as soon as possible throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland, according to the release.
“Depending on the severity of the storm's impact on the electrical system, customers are encouraged to prepare for the possibility of power outages lasting up to seven to 10 days,” the release says.
The company recommends that residents:
- Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy. Use care when burning candles; open flames are a fire hazard.
- 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.
- Keep a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand. Tune in to a local radio station for current storm information.
- Have a hard-wired telephone or a charged cell phone handy in the event you need to report your electricity is out. Mobile phones can be charged in your vehicle using a car charger when power is out. If you have a smart phone, this will ensure you have access to online information sources.
The company says its call centers will be fully staffed. Customers without power are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report the outage, the release says.
Customers should immediately report downed wires to JCP&L or local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if you think it's no longer carrying electricity, the release says.
For updated information on the company’s storm preparation efforts, current outages, the storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages_help. JCP&L will also provide updates via Twitter @JCP_L, the release says.
“Based on current predictions, we are making plans to position our crews to get ahead of the storm and minimize the impact on our customers,” Chuck Jones, president of FirstEnergy Utilities, said in the release. “FirstEnergy crews and additional hazard teams and support staff are ready to assist the restoration process.”