FirstEnergy Utilities Preparing for Impact of Hurricane FlorenceCompany Meteorologists Closely Monitoring Weather Conditions to Help Ensure Resources Are Deployed to Hardest-Hit Areas
AKRON, Ohio, Sept. 11, 2018 -- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utility personnel are prepared to respond quickly should Hurricane Florence impact the areas where the company provides electric service.
Company meteorologists are tracking the storm system that is forecast to make landfall in the Carolinas later this week. The storm also could have secondary impacts, such as heavy rain and high winds, in areas served by all 10 FirstEnergy utilities, including: Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed), Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power), and West Penn Power in Pennsylvania; Mon Power in West Virginia; Potomac Edison in Maryland and West Virginia; Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) in New Jersey; and Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison in Ohio.
The companies are reviewing storm response plans, which include staffing additional dispatchers, damage assessors and analysts at regional dispatch offices, and are making arrangements to bring in additional line, substation and forestry personnel, as needed, based on the severity of the weather. In addition, FirstEnergy has been in contact with contractors and electric industry mutual assistance organizations about the possibility of assisting with storm restoration efforts.
As part of the storm planning process, JCP&L and Met-Ed have secured additional line and substation personnel and are prepared to set up staging sites should they be needed. In addition, as the hurricane path becomes more certain, Ohio Edison, Toledo Edison and The Illuminating Company line workers could be in a position to provide support to the Potomac Edison and Mon Power areas in Maryland and West Virginia nearer the expected storm impact zone.
Company representatives also have been in contact with emergency management officials, state officials, regulators and local officials about Hurricane Florence preparation efforts.
During severe weather, customers who are without power are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the "Report Outage" link on www.firstenergycorp.com. Customers should immediately report downed wires to their utility or their local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity. Extra caution should be exercised in areas where downed wires may be tangled in downed tree branches or other debris.
For updated information on the company's current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.
FirstEnergy encourages customers to plan ahead for the possibility of electric service interruptions by following these tips:
- Keep flashlights and fresh batteries in your home. Avoid using candles to light your home, especially around children and pets.
- If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill your bathtub with fresh water.
- Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.
- 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 the power is out.
- Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person.
- Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources indoors. These can cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to build up in your home.
- Keep a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand. Tune to a local station for current storm information.
- Emergency power generators offer an option for customers needing or wanting uninterrupted service. However, to ensure the safety of the home's occupants as well as that of utility company employees who may be working on power lines in the area, the proper generator should be selected and installed by a qualified electrician. When operating a generator, the power coming into the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.
FirstEnergy customers also can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive weather alerts in advance of major storms, and updates on scheduled or extended power outages. Customers can also use two-way text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts. More information about these communications tools is available online at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Connect with the companies online at www.firstenergycorp.com, on Twitter at @OhioEdison, @IlluminatingCo, @ToledoEdison, @Met_Ed, @Penelec, @Penn_Power, @W_Penn_Power, @MonPowerWV, or @PotomacEdison, or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/OhioEdison, www.Facebook.com/ToledoEdison, www.Facebook.com/IlluminatingCo, www.Facebook.com/MetEdElectric, www.Facebook.com/PenelecElectric, www.Facebook.com/PennPower, www.Facebook.com/WestPennPower, www.facebook.com/MonPowerWV, www.facebook.com/PotomacEdison.
CONTACT: Scott Surgeoner – Met-Ed/Penelec, (610) 921-6785; Ron Morano – JCP&L, (973) 401-8097; Todd Meyers, Potomac Edison/Mon Power/West Penn, (888) 233-3583; Chris Eck, Ohio, (330) 384-7939