National Grid increase staffing, prepares for forecasted rain, ice and snow across portions of Upstate NY

SYRACUSE, NY —  A wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow is expected to mark the beginning of the new year across portions of upstate New York and National Grid is preparing for the potentially powerful storm by increasing staffing to include 2,000 line, service, tree, damage assessment and public safety workers.

The bolstered field force includes external resources and will be deployed across the region as necessary if the New Year’s Day storm disrupts service to customers. While the current forecasts show the most damaging weather is expected to impact the North Country in central New York and the northeast region of eastern New York, the company is resourced to address storm damage across its entire 25,000-square-mile service area.

National Grid will continue to closely monitor the weather, and has activated its comprehensive emergency response plan, including:

  • Calling in extra resources, and mobilizing field and tree crews.

  • Pre-staging crews and materials in areas anticipated to be most severely impacted.

  • Proactively reaching out to elected, municipal and emergency management officials to keep them updated on our preparations and provide safety information.

  • Reaching out directly to customers through traditional and social media, email and texts and on our website to provide safety information and to urge them to be prepared.

  • Conducting outbound calls to life support and critical facility customers to ensure they are prepared.

In anticipation of the storm, the company is encouraging customers to keep safety a priority with the following reminders:

 

Electricity & Generator Safety

  • If a power outage occurs, customers can notify National Grid online to expedite restoration.

  • Never touch downed power lines; always assume they are carrying live electricity. Downed lines should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 911.

  • Generators used to supply power during an outage must be operated outdoors to prevent the buildup of deadly carbon monoxide. Before operating a generator, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker, located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could endanger our crews and your neighbors.

  • Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid at 1-800-642-4272. In a medical emergency, always dial 911.

  • Keep working flashlights and an extra supply of batteries in your home and be sure to charge all electronic devices before the storm.

  • Please use caution when driving near emergency responders and crews restoring power.

  • Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.

 

Use Caution When Addressing Ice and Snow Buildup 

National Grid reminds home and building owners to be especially cautious as they work to clear snow and ice by following these safety recommendations:

  • Gas customers should clear snow and ice from gas meters and regulators by gently using a snow brush or broom. Never kick, hit or use sharp objects to remove snow and ice. If a meter and/or regulator is encased in solid ice, call National Grid at 1-800-642-4272.

  • Gas customers should ensure vents for natural gas appliances are clear of snow and ice. Covered or clogged vents can lead to the build-up of poisonous carbon monoxide.

  • Customers who detect an odor of natural gas or suspect carbon monoxide is present in their home, should go outside immediately and breathe deeplyIf CO poisoning symptoms, such as headaches or drowsiness, are severe, immediately call 911.

  • Customers experiencing gas odors or electricity emergencies should immediately call National Grid’s emergency number: 1-800-867-5222.

  • Keep all ladders, shovels, roof rakes and other devices well clear of any service lines coming from the street to the structure.

  • Start clearing snow from the opposite end of the roof from the service point where electricity is delivered.

  • If you are unsure of how to go about clearing snow and ice, or if your roof is particularly steep, contact a qualified roofing contractor.

  • As snow is removed from the roof, be aware of what is below that could become buried as snow hits the ground.  Be especially mindful of the location of your electricity and gas meters, as they could be damaged by falling snow and ice.

  • Snow removal equipment operators should also be aware of the presence of electricity and natural gas equipment and avoid coming in contact with meters or piling snow around vents and other equipment mounted on the outside of buildings.

Stay informed and connected

  • Customers with active electricity accounts who text ‘REG’ to 64743 can have personalized alerts sent to them via text, email or phone call when we detect an outage on their properties.

  • Customers also can text ‘OUT’ to 64743 to report an outage.

  • For real-time power outage informationonline outage reporting, and in-depth storm safety information, visit National Grid’s Outage Central website. Customers who create an online profile also can sign up for email alerts.

  • Visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com, follow us on Twitter and friend us on Facebook.