National Grid Ready To Respond, Urges Customers To Stay Safe During The Nor’easter

By Media Relations

With the nor’easter underway, National Grid is urging customers to stay safe during and after the storm.  Weather forecasters are calling for white-out conditions and possible coastal flooding during the height of the storm, and public safety officials are asking people to limit or eliminate travel today if possible.

National Grid has approximately 600 crews and materials spread across Massachusetts and Rhode Island ready to respond to any outages caused by the storm.  As outages are reported during the storm, emergency response personnel will begin mapping out the restoration response so that the wires down, damage assessment and work crews can be deployed as soon as it’s safe to do so.  Just as it’s important for the public to heed safety warnings, National Grid also must take precautions to keep the crews safe – especially those who will be working in elevated buckets.

National Grid will keep state and local officials and customers informed on the status of outages and the progress of the restoration until the work is complete.  Community liaisons are at the ready for communities across both states to provide local officials direct access to the company to help the restoration go as smoothly as possible.

The storm is forecasted to dump more than a foot of snow over much of New England, and high winds are likely to batter much of the area. National Grid began planning for the storm over the weekend and developing staffing plans, readying equipment, securing additional crews to help with any service interruptions, and reaching out to state and local officials to coordinate emergency plans.

Nearly 600 crews from as far away as Michigan and Canada will be on hand in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to respond to any outages that occur.  They will be supported by hundreds of others responsible for damage assessment, wires down, logistics, materials, dispatching, safety, and a host of other functions that provide critical support to the restoration process.

National Grid offers the following safety tips to help customers stay safe during and after the storm:

  • Customers in Massachusetts or Rhode Island who experience an outage should call National Grid at 1-800-465-1212 to expedite restoration.
  • Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electricity wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid or your local emergency response organization.
  • People who depend on electricity-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’s New England Customer Service Center at 1-800-322-3223.
  • Please drive carefully and use caution when driving near any repair crews working to restore power.
  • Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during if they lose power.
  • Remember, it’s not safe to work in an elevated bucket during periods of increased wind gusts. Our line workers begin restoration work only when conditions are deemed safe.

Electricity & Generator Safety

  • If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to operate it outdoors. Before operating a generator, disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize the safety of line crews and the public.
  • If you lose power, turn off any appliances that were on when the power went off, but leave one light on so you will know when power is restored.

Gas Safety

  • The buildup of ice and snow around or over gas meters and vents for natural gas appliances could pose a serious safety risk. Ice and snow falling from a roof can damage gas meters or service connections to customers’ homes or businesses, resulting in a gas leak.
  • Ice and snow blocking vents could cause carbon monoxide (CO) to back up into a building and result in carbon monoxide poisoning for those inside. To avoid these dangers, National Grid advises natural gas customers to closely inspect areas around and over gas meters, service hook-ups and vents for ice and snow that could damage equipment or prevent CO from properly venting.
  • National Grid advises that you take immediate action anytime you suspect a natural gas leak:

Get Out – All occupants should leave the house immediately. Do not use the telephone or light switches for any reason.

  • Call Us – After leaving the house and reaching a safe environment, call the National Grid 24-hour gas emergency number:
  • In Massachusetts: 1-800-233-5325
  • In Rhode Island: 1-800-640-1595
  • Stay Out – Do not return to your home until National Grid tells you it is safe.

Carbon Monoxide

The symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to those of the flu. Depending upon the amount of CO in the air and length of exposure, symptoms may include headaches, weakness, confusion, chest tightness, skin redness, dizziness, nausea, sleepiness, fluttering of the heart or loss of muscle control. If you suspect carbon monoxide is present in your home, go outside immediately and breathe deeply; then call 911. If symptoms are severe, get medical attention.

Stay Connected to National Grid

National Grid provides multiple channels for customers to learn about service issues and interruptions during storms. Customers can follow the storm on their mobile devices by using the National Grid mobile app or texting the word STORM to NGRID (64743). The company provides real time outage information on its Outage Central web site at National Grid also provides storm and restoration updates through Facebook and Twitter.

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