Customers Urged to Remain Vigilant
WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As Hurricane Dorian approaches the mainland United States, electric companies, electric cooperatives, and public power utilities in the path of the storm have activated their emergency response plans and are pre-positioning workers and equipment in the areas most likely to be hit by the storm. At this time, crews from at least 36 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada have been offered, and all pre-staging resource needs have been met. Due to the uncertain track of the storm, mutual assistance networks continue to stage and reposition crews that are ready to deploy to the areas impacted by Hurricane Dorian.
The CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and FEMA are coordinating closely to support the ongoing preparation and staging activities, as well as the movement of mutual assistance crews. Last night, the ESCC held a coordination call with senior leadership from DOE and DHS to discuss the preparations for Hurricane Dorian and to ensure that industry and government efforts are aligned.
"One of our greatest strengths as an industry is our ability to remain nimble and adapt to Mother Nature's unpredictable behavior," said Edison Electric Institute President Tom Kuhn. "Strong industry-government coordination and cross-sector collaboration are critical, and we appreciate the ongoing leadership from DOE, DHS, and FEMA in helping to coordinate the industry response with federal, state, and local officials."
Industry-government coordination calls began on Wednesday ahead of Hurricane Dorian impacting the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Since developing into a hurricane, Dorian's track keeps shifting, which means customers in the path of the storm need to stay alert and heed all warnings from their local and state officials. Customers in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina should be prepared for the possibility of power outages and, if ordered to evacuate, should do so immediately. The storm's slow-moving pace increases the risks of life-threatening storm surges, damaging winds, and severe flooding caused by heavy rains.
"The electric power industry has coordinated recovery and mutual assistance plans ahead of Hurricane Dorian's arrival, and we are prepared to respond to extended outages around the clock as soon as it is safe to do so," said National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jim Matheson. "As the storm track continues to shift, we are praying for the best and preparing for the worst."
Additional electric companies, electric cooperatives, and public power utilities outside of the storm zone continue to monitor and assess the situation and are standing by to provide assistance.
"Mutual assistance networks have deployed crews to Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, and we stand ready to provide more assistance to help get the power back on in affected communities as quickly and safely as possible," said American Public Power Association President & CEO Sue Kelly. "Ensuring the safety of customers, communities, and crews is the electric power industry's highest priority."
About the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council
The ESCC serves as the principal liaison between leadership in the federal government and in the electric power sector, with the mission of coordinating efforts to prepare for national-level incidents or threats to critical infrastructure. Protecting the energy grid from threats that could impact national security and public safety is a responsibility shared by both the government and the electric power sector. The ESCC facilitates and supports policy- and public affairs-related activities and initiatives designed to enhance the reliability and resilience of the energy grid. These activities include all hazards, steady-state preparation, and emergency preparedness, response, and recovery for the nation's electricity sector.
More information is available at: http://www.electricitysubsector.org/
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