FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- August 29, 2012
Contact: Kevin Kelly (573) 751-9300
Be Prepared In Case Of Weather-Related Service Interruptions
JEFFERSON CITY---The Missouri Public Service Commission reminds residents to be prepared for storms and possible service interruptions in the wake of Hurricane Isaac. Current weather forecasts indicate storms from Isaac could hit Missouri by the end of the week.
“The remnants of Isaac could bring significant rainfall to Missouri and Illinois,” said PSC Chairman Kevin Gunn. “We hope that it will just be a good soaking but weather events can be unpredictable and we want customers to be prepared in case these storms impact electric or natural gas service. Having a plan in place can provide you and your family some reassurance if a service interruption occurs.”
Missouri’s regulated utilities have formal, detailed plans in place that provide direction for responding to service interruptions when they occur. Each company’s plans have been reviewed by the Missouri Public Service Commission. Having such plans and identified organizational resources and responsibilities is critical to restoring service as safely and as quickly as possible for the greatest number of customers.
There are several things customers can do and should know so they can be prepared in case of a service interruption. They include:
Putting together an emergency kit with items that will be useful in other situations as well. Store these items in a water-tight container. Items can include: bottled water (most emergency preparedness experts recommend having a three-day supply on hand.); ready-to-eat foods; a manual can opener; battery-operated radio, clock, flashlights and extra batteries; and blankets.
Posting emergency telephone numbers in an accessible place. Telephone numbers should include utility phone numbers, family, friends or neighbors that may need to be contacted during an outage, as well as law enforcement and medical personnel
Developing a plan for shelter and ensure that all family members are familiar with the plan.
It is also important to watch for downed power lines.
“If you see a downed power line, assume that it is a live line….don’t touch it and immediately call 911,” said Gunn. He also reminds Missourians to:
Be extra cautious when you go outside to inspect for damage after a storm. Downed, hanging electrical wires can be hidden by trees or debris, and could be live. Never attempt to touch or move downed lines, and keep children and pets away from them.
Do not touch anything power lines are touching, such as tree branches or fences. Always assume a downed line is a "live line."
If natural gas facilities serving your home or business are damaged and if flooding water causes a service interruption, please call your natural gas provider immediately. Customers should also make sure to obtain an inspection by a qualified professional before using or restarting any natural gas appliance that has been submerged in water or otherwise damaged as a result of flooding.
If a service interruption occurs and you choose to use a portable generator, always use caution.
Set the generator outside or vent the exhaust outside to prevent carbon monoxide from entering the home.
To prevent electrical shock, make sure your generator is properly grounded. Consult your manufacturer’s manual for correct grounding procedures.