JCP&L Preparing for Severe Weather Forecast; Critical Customers Notified
MORRISTOWN, N.J., Oct. 24, 2018 -- Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) is preparing for the impact of severe weather that is forecast to impact parts of the East Coast beginning Friday, including heavy rain and wind gusts of more than 50 mph across the company's service areas in northern and central New Jersey.
Company meteorologists are monitoring a developing storm system generated, in part, by the remnants of Hurricane Willa as it exits Mexico and continues its path east. Current trends show the possibility of severe weather affecting JCP&L and other FirstEnergy utilities in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia beginning Friday night and into the weekend.
JCP&L personnel are reviewing storm response plans, which include making arrangements to bring in additional line, substation and forestry personnel, and additional dispatchers and analysts at regional dispatch offices, as required, based on the severity of the weather.
Plans also include:
- Notifying JCP&L well water and critical care customers of the approaching storm and the possibility that electrical service may be interrupted.
- Activating, if needed, the Incident Command System and the Command Center in Holmdel to manage the restoration effort.
- Increasing social media messaging addressing the potential impacts ahead of the storm.
- Notifying local and state officials about the company's storm preparation activities.
- Activating the JCP&L storm website.
"We are taking steps now to implement our storm restoration process," said James V. Fakult, president of Jersey Central Power & Light. "The ultimate goal of our pre-planning efforts is to speed the restoration process and minimize any inconvenience our customers experience due to the weather."
Customers who may be left without power after the storm 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.
In the event of severe weather, 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 used in areas where downed lines are tangled in trees or other debris. Motorists are cautioned to treat intersections with inoperable traffic signals as four-way stops.
Customers are encouraged to prepare for the possibility of outages:
- Keep electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops and tablet computers fully charged to be ready for any emergencies.
- Keep a flashlight, portable radio and extra batteries handy in the event a power interruption occurs. Tune to a local station for current storm information.
- Never use a portable generator inside the house or a closed garage in the event of a power outage. Ensure the proper generator is 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.
- Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person. Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources to prevent deadly carbon monoxide gas from building up in your home.
- 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.
- Mobile phones can be charged in your vehicle using a car charger when the power is out. If you have a smart phone, this will ensure you have access to online information sources.
FirstEnergy customers also can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive billing reminders, 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.
JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE). JCP&L serves 1.1 million New Jersey customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren. Follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL or online at www.jcp-l.com.
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. Visit FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and follow on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
CONTACT: News Media Contact: Ron Morano, (973) 401-8097