Just when you thought you could pack up the summer storms and settle into cool fall rain and possibly snow – the unpredictable weather that is so…predictable in the Poconos is ready to hit. Last year we were hit pretty hard with Hurricane Irene – power outages were widespread and most people were without power for a few days, but the unlucky ones didn’t get it back for a week or two. As a precaution PPL Electric sent out an email blast tonight talking about preparedness – I think it’s more to cover their butts and warn people early on, but it’s never comforting when your power company tells you to prepare to lose power.
I’m sure this weekend will be a madhouse traffic wise and trying to get anything at the store – but I always go on the “better safe then sorry path” so yes I’ll be one of those saps stocking up on extra jugs of water and batteries. If the power is out for any extended period we definitely will be heading elsewhere but I have my fingers crossed that Hurricane Irene already took down most of the dying trees and exposed the weaker power areas and that we might get by with just a few hours without power – but that’s wishful thinking.
If it’s your first extended run without power in the Poconos here’s a reminder if you have a well…no power = no well pump = no water = no toilets…so you might want to have a backup plan.
Here’s a little tip on how to tell if your power was out and your freezer was off long enough to dethaw and rethaw. Put a cup of water in a hard plastic or nonbreakable cup in your freezer filled not quite to the top and freeze it in your freezer. Once frozen put a penny on the top. If the penny hasn’t moved or has only slightly dropped when you got back you know your power wasn’t out that long – but if it’s sank all the way to the bottom of the cup you might want to consider purging your fridge & freezer.
And finally…the email blast from PPL Electric for some additional reading material:
Although Hurricane Sandy’s expected arrival on the eastern seaboard is still several days away, we’re urging our customers to make preparations now to stay safe during the storm.
According to the latest weather forecasts, the storm could cause widespread damage resulting in power outages lasting several days. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work safely to restore power if you are affected by outages.
We are making every preparation to restore power after the storm, including bringing in about 1,500 line crews, assessors and tree trimmers from other states to help respond to storm damage – tripling our physical workforce. However, it’s also important for you to make a plan now to deal with situations that might affect you, your family, friends and neighbors.
Please take this storm seriously. Stock up on food and water and think about how to stay warm if the power goes out. Here are some steps you can take to be ready before the storm hits:
Take a few minutes to assemble supplies you would need in the event of an outage lasting more than a few hours. Visit our Outage Center for storm preparation tips.
Customers who are elderly, have small children or have special personal needs should plan the actions they would take in the event of an extended outage.
Stay connected to PPL Electric Utilities.
Bookmark our Outage Center home page.
Sign up for PPL Alerts, a free service that allows customers to receive important information about power outages by phone, text or email.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for latest storm updates.
Stay safe during the storm. Assume any downed wire is live, stay away from it and report it to 1-800-DIAL-PPL (1-800-342-5775). Use flashlights instead of candles, and do not run a generator indoors.
Since the busy storm season of 2011, we’ve made numerous storm response improvements, including increasing phone lines for customer service and expanding emergency call capacity to better handle high volumes of customer calls during major storms.
Customers experiencing outages are asked to report them through the online Outage Center or at 1-800-DIAL-PPL (1-800-342-5775). When prompted, customers reporting by phone should press 1 for “Power Problem.” The Outage Center also is available on smart phones or other mobile devices.
Thank you again in advance for your patience and understanding.
Vice President – Distribution Operations
PPL Electric Utilities