OHIO (WOIO) - FirstEnergy encourage all customers to prepare for the possible severe impacts of Hurricane Sandy early next week.
Weather forecasters are predicting a dangerous storm that will strike the east coast with powerful, damaging winds and heavy rain. Further west, customers could see heavy snow.
Depending on the severity of the storm's impact on the electrical system, customers are encouraged to stay safe by preparing for the possibility of power outages lasting up to seven to 10 days by taking action before the storm occurs:
- If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and consider filling your bathtub with fresh water.
- If customers have not received a call from FirstEnergy in the past 48 hours regarding their life support equipment, they should call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877). Those who call and are not registered will receive a form that must be completed by their doctor.
- Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy. Use care when burning candles; open flames are a fire hazard.
- If power goes out, unplug appliances like refrigerators and freezers, and sensitive electronic equipment like TVs and computers, so that they won't overload when power is restored.
- Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person. Portable heaters and burning candles that are left unattended, especially around children and pets, can create a fire hazard. In addition, gasoline- or diesel-powered generators and appliances can produce deadly levels of carbon monoxide and should never be operated inside the home or garage.
- Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.
- Keep a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand. Tune in to a local radio station for current storm information.
- Have a hard-wired telephone or a charged cell phone handy in the event you need to report your electricity is out. Mobile phones can be charged in your vehicle using a car charger when power is out. A smart phone can be used to access online information sources.
- Please call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report outages immediately, or report them online by clicking "report outage" on our website. FirstEnergy customer call centers will be fully staffed. The more people who call, the faster we can pinpoint the location where crews must be sent for repairs.
- Immediately report downed wires to 888-544-4877 or your local police or fire department. Never go near a downed power line, even if you think it's no longer carrying electricity. Stay more than 30 feet away from downed power lines, don't walk or drive near or over a downed line, and watch out for anything touching the line. If a wire falls on a vehicle, passengers should stay inside until help arrives.
- Keep children and pets away from any wires.
- When operating a generator, always disconnect the power coming into your home. Otherwise, power from your generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers. The proper generator should be selected and installed by a qualified electrician.
- Stay out of flooded basements, even if the power is off. Stay away from the breaker box if it's in a flooded basement.
For updated information on the company's storm preparation efforts, current outages, irstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages. JCP&L customers can find the latest information on Facebook . FirstEnergy operating companies will also provide updates via Twitter:
- JCP&L: @JCP_L
- Penelec: @Penelec
- Met-Ed: @Met_Ed
- Potomac Edison: @PotomacEdison
- West Penn Power: @W_Penn_Power
- Mon Power: @MonPowerWV