With Hurricane Sandy moving its way northward and forecasted to impact our region early next week, NSTAR is making preparations for a significant impact on its electric grid. The company is also advising customers to make advanced preparations as well. While no utility can prevent widespread power outages in the face of devastating storms, NSTAR is on high alert and workers are prepared to mobilize.
"As forecasts of Sandy’s path become more defined, we’re continuing with our preparations for high winds and heavy rain that could severely affect our electric system and potentially cause widespread power outages,” said Werner Schweiger, President of NSTAR Electric. "We’ve worked throughout the year enhancing our storm response plans and we stand ready to address any damage as quickly and safely as possible.”
An important part of the company’s preparations is its participation in a utility mutual aid program to reach out to additional utility and contractor crews to alert them to the likely need for assistance. Availability of additional workers is often uncertain, however, until a storm passes and the full extent and breadth of damage is understood. The number of crews available to help, where they come from and when will be dictated by what damage Hurricane Sandy actually causes along its path.
Customers can prepare for storm damage and power outages by assembling a storm kit in advance and making arrangements to protect themselves and their families. Some suggestions for items to include in a storm kit are:
- Flashlights with spare batteries
- A battery-operated radio or TV
- First-aid kit and medications
- Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated foods
- A manual can opener
- Bottled water
- Baby or pet supplies
- Important phone numbers
Customers dependent on electricity for critical medical needs are urged to make preparations now to switch to a backup source or move to an alternate location if necessary. NSTAR also reminds all customer that, while back-up emergency generators can be very useful during power outages, it’s crucial to personal safety and the safety of others, including NSTAR line crews, that they be installed and operated properly.