2009-08-21 / Top Stories

LIPA Says Ready For Hurricane Season

As Long Island enters the height of the 2009 hurricane season, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and National Grid are storm ready and are already monitoring storm activity in the tropics.

Hurricane Bill has the potential to strengthen to a major hurricane off the coast of Bermuda by Saturday morning.

In July, LIPA and National Grid conducted its Joint Annual Hurricane Preparedness Drill, which was monitored by the New York State Office of Emergency Management and the emergency management offices of Nassau and Suffolk counties.

"LIPA has invested in our electric grid and has strengthened the transmission and distribution system in an effort to restore our system quickly and as safely as possible in the event of a hurricane," said LIPA President and CEO Kevin S. Law.

In preparation for a storm event LIPA and National Grid begin tracking major storms days before they near Long Island. As a major storm or hurricane approaches the region, LIPA takes steps to respond quickly to storm-related outages.

For customer service, "21st Century," an automatic reporting system that can process more than 100,000 customer calls per hour, can be activated.

Outages are automatically electronically recorded and reported to system operators to start the restoration process by assigning a job ticket to the reported outage.

In addition to the line crews, all employees have a second job if a major storm strikes and are trained for storm emergency assignments, and personnel work extended shifts around the clock to complete all service restorations as quickly as possible.

LIPA's Storm Center at http://www.- lipower.org/stormcenter is available 24/7 for updates, outage information and storm restoration progress reports.

To help minimize storm damage to LIPA's electric system, LIPA's Forestry program works throughout the year to identify and trim tree limbs in rightsof way and along easements that could potentially cause outages during or after a storm. Additionally, customers are urged to have trees on private property surveyed independently to be assured that their trees or bushes are not experiencing dangerous and weakening rot. Tree limbs that come in contact with electric lines remain the major cause of customer outages during storms, accounting for over 90 percent of all service disruptions. For more information on LIPA's Forestry program, please visit LIPA's Web site at http://www.lipower.org/community.

"Our greatest defense in an emergency situation is to be prepared," said Law. "Just as LIPA and National Grid's workforce readies all year long through drills and training classes, we hope that Long Islanders take this opportunity to create their own emergency plan."

In the event of a hurricane or tropical storm impacting Long Island, LIPA's electric customers are encouraged to follow these storm preparation recommendations to help ensure their family's safety and comfort:
* Put together a family hurricane
evacuation kit.
* Individuals with special needs or others
requiring more information
should contact their local emergency
management office.
* Have flashlights, battery-operated
radios and extra batteries on hand.
* Know the hurricane risks in your
area. Learn the storm surge history
and elevation of your area.
* Learn safe routes inland.
* If your residence is in a potential
flood or storm surge zone, be prepared
to evacuate when officials recommend
it.
* Make arrangements now for elderly
and others with special needs such
as those who depend on electric life
support devices.
* Inventory personal property; safely
secure all records and valuable documents
in a watertight place.
* Have material available to protect
your doors and windows.
* Learn the location of official shelters
for your family and pets.
* Ensure that enough non-perishable
food and water supplies are on hand.
* Clear loose and clogged rain gutters
and downspouts.
* Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed
of dead wood.
* Determine where to move a boat in
an emergency.

If a hurricane or major tropical storm damages the region, Long Islanders are strongly cautioned to stay away from downed power lines.

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