UI prepares for storm response

The United Illuminating Company has begun plans for how it will respond if power outages occur as a result of the predicted storm Friday evening. Weather forecasters are calling for several inches of snow and high wind gusts in New England and the UI service territory.

Company officials began watching the weather patterns as early as Wednesday and have had several internal meetings with personnel to begin their preparations. Calls have also already begun to request outside contractors and UI participation in mutual assistance calls began early in the week.

“It was just 7 days ago that we were discussing a wind storm and very quickly we’re watching out for a possible Nor’easter,” said James P. Torgerson, UI’s president and chief executive officer. “Our team knows what is needed and we are taking all necessary precautions to be prepared for any effects on our distribution system.”

UI has already secured several contractor crews and employees have been notified to be on alert in case they are needed for restoration efforts. While it can’t be predicted what the weather will bring, UI encourages its customers to make the appropriate plans ahead of time.

“It’s always important to have a storm plan for your family and practice it,” Torgerson added.  “We’ve found that customers who are more prepared tend to fare better and be less inconvenienced during these types of events.”

Initial Tips:

Perform a Storm Inventory

• The possibility of an outage exists whenever severe weather strikes. You can prepare by taking an inventory of your home and stocking up on any supplies you might need.

• Be sure to have flashlights, candles, matches, a disposable lighter, a first-aid kit, a battery-operated radio or TV, and a battery-operated clock. Maintain a supply of extra batteries of various sizes.

• Fill containers with drinking water (one gallon per person, per day) and keep a three-day supply of canned or dried food. Check expiration dates on canned foods and make sure you have a manual can opener.

• Charge your mobile phone and devices so you can report outages or emergencies. Store key contacts in your phone’s memory, and keep a paper copy in case your batteries run out. UI’s toll-free line is 800-722-5584 (800-7-CALL-UI).