National Preparedness Month: Act Today, Stay Safe Tomorrow
Each September is National Preparedness Month, a time to shine a light on the importance of preparing for emergencies before they happen.
One of the most common emergencies is severe weather, which can cause tree damage, broken poles, downed power lines and sometimes even lengthy power outages. While Mother Nature can be unpredictable, each of us can take steps to minimize the impact the weather may have.
At FirstEnergy, we prepare by maintaining and upgrading our infrastructure, trimming trees and monitoring the weather. We also activate formal readiness plans to ensure our crews are prepared to respond in the event of severe weather.
You, too, can prepare for outages caused by severe weather by taking these simple steps:
Stock an emergency kit: Have flashlights, a first-aid kit, extra blankets, batteries and other emergency and personal health items on hand.
Prepare a plan: Create an emergency plan and review it with your family periodically to help ensure everyone knows the proper steps to take in the event of a power outage or another emergency. Consult your doctor to develop a backup plan for critical medical devices and medication that requires refrigeration.
Reserve supplies: Stock an emergency supply of bottled water and non-perishable foods that do not require cooking. Don’t forget a can opener!
Invest in a backup: Consider investing in a generator to provide emergency power during an unexpected outage. Be sure you know how to use it safely.
Get connected: Text REG to 544487 to enroll in our text messaging service so you can report an outage and receive status updates right at your fingertips. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for weather warnings when a significant storm is expected and updates once the storm has passed.
Stay Safe Tomorrow
If you lose power due to the weather, our crews will work around the clock to safely restore service to all impacted customers. Here’s how to stay safe while they work:
Report your outage: Be sure to report your outage, even if a neighbor has already reported their power is out. Our system works best when it receives plenty of information to analyze.
Avoid hazards: If you ever see a power line down, treat it as energized and dangerous and stay at least 30 feet away. Report it immediately by calling 9-1-1. Use extra caution where lines are tangled in trees or debris.
Be cautious with candles: Don’t use candles around pets or small children, and never leave them burning unattended. Consider using flame-free lighting options like flashlights or battery-operated candles instead.
Use generators safely: Follow the manufacturer's instructions closely. Never connect a generator directly to your home’s electrical system without a proper isolation device installed by a qualified electrician. Operating a generator that is not isolated from the electric distribution system is dangerous. Additionally, never operate a generator inside your home because exhaust from backup generators can be dangerous or even fatal if inhaled.
Safely relocate: Heat rises, so during warm weather, consider moving to the basement, and vice versa during colder months to stay comfortable. If the temperatures are too extreme, consider traveling to a friend or family member’s home for some relief. There may also be public cooling or warming shelters available in your area.
Throw it out: A full freezer can maintain temperature for 48 hours. Be sure to throw away food if the temperature rises to 40 degrees or higher.
Stay informed: Visit our outage map, text STAT to 544487 or call 888-544-4877 to stay informed about your outage during the power restoration process.
Being prepared can help minimize the challenges you face if the lights go out. Learn more about how to prepare for and stay safe during severe weather at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages_help.html.
Media Contact: Joshua Duke, (330) 607-5018