As Hurricane Sandy makes its way up the coast, the Long Island Power Authority on Saturday said it is working to mobilize extra crews to handle possible power outages, but the power company warned: "Customers should prepare for the possibility of extended outages."
In a release to the media, LIPA authorities said those outages could last anywhere from 7 to 10 days — a similar amount of time after Irene hit in August 2011.
"While customers may not see restoration crews working specifically in their neighborhoods following the storm, crews will perform damage surveys as soon as possible during and after the weather-related incidents following established safety guidelines," reported LIPA.
LIPA is recommending that customers pre-register their cell phones to report outages and receive restoration updates via text. To register, text REG to 695472 (myLIPA). After registration, to report an outage, text OUT to 695472 (myLIPA).
Customers are encouraged to always report outages and can also report outages by calling 1-800-490-0075.
In addition to mobilizing extra crews, LIPA said it is also closely monitoring the storm's progress on and around-the-clock; coordinating preliminary preparation efforts with state, New York City, county and local emergency management organizations; ensuring that all LIPA and National Grid personnel are ready to respond; testing all communication and information technology systems necessary to support our restoration efforts; and ensuring that all supply inventories and equipment are fully stocked to support restoration efforts.
The following is a list of additional steps LIPA said customers can take to prepare for the storm:
- Never touch or go near fallen wires, even if you think they are safe. Parents can use this opportunity to remind children that wires are dangerous. If you are in a vehicle that comes in contact with a downed wire, stay in your vehicle until help arrives.
- Make sure you have a working, battery powered radio or TV and a good supply of fresh replacement batteries.
- Have flashlights available for all family members.
- If an electric pump supplies your water, fill spare food-grade containers with water for cooking and washing in anticipation of a possible power interruption.
- Make sure all motor driven equipment, such as garage door openers, can be operated manually.
- When using a portable generator, make sure all LIPA-powered equipment is disconnected. This will avoid severe hazards when reconnecting the power to your home or business.
- Have a first aid kit at home and check its contents to make sure they are complete and up to date. If you have family members with special medical needs, such as insulin or other prescription drugs, check to make sure you have an adequate supply.
- Do not use charcoal to cook indoors; deadly carbon monoxide gas can accumulate in your home.
- If you have an elderly neighbor, be a Good Samaritan and check on his or her status. Even a quick telephone call during a storm can provide much appreciated assurance that help is nearby if needed.
- Should an electric power interruption occur, all sensitive equipment, such as computers and TVs should be disconnected until service is restored .