Keeping first responders safe

Keeping first responders safe

When it comes to responding to emergencies and keeping the public safe, police, firefighters, and ambulance personnel are critical.

And we want to make sure they’re safe while protecting the public, particularly when they are working around overhead and underground power lines and other electrical equipment.

We’re hoping a new program will do just that. We recently introduced our new electrical safety presentation designed specifically for 911 centers and emergency management agencies.

The response was impressive. Representatives from 23 of the 29 counties we serve joined the free, one-hour Zoom presentation we offered in early May. In all, 86 people were on the call to learn valuable safety lessons.

“It’s always beneficial for our 911 dispatch staff to be involved in this type of training,” said Daniel S. Bellesfield, Lehigh County’s 911 Operations Coordinator. “While we are not physically on scene, being trained and familiar with equipment and terminology will help to expedite responses to emergencies.”

Representatives from PPL’s Public Safety, Emergency Preparedness, Operations and Regional Affairs groups shared valuable information and tips.

“We admire all of the work our first responders do, and we appreciate the willingness of 911 centers and emergency management agencies to join us to learn about what they have to keep in mind when they’re directing first responders at emergency scenes,” said Mark Santayana, public safety manager at PPL Electric Utilities. “And for those who are well versed in these safety measures, this program helps reinforce their importance.”

First responders: Check out additional resources and information specifically for you, as well as an online electrical safety certification course here: ppl.e-smartresponders.com.

Storm versus power grid

Storm versus power grid

Hurricanes have had names for 70 years. Now big winter storms get them. Go figure.

In the electric utility business, we’re always watching the weather, so we’re prepared to respond to any resulting power outages. Winter Storm Gail, which swept through our region in mid-December, was no exception. Our crews worked safely and quickly to get the lights back on for affected customers.

The good news is our hard work and investments in a safer, more reliable, and resilient power grid are paying off in increased reliability for you. Outages are down 30 percent since 2011. And storms, whether named Gail or otherwise, don’t cause as many service problems today compared to even a decade ago.

Here’s why. We’ve replaced older equipment, put up stronger poles and wires, and have a state-of-the-art smart grid in place to automatically detect outages and instantly reroute power to shrink outage footprints and keep the lights on for more customers. Smart grid alone has prevented more than 1 million PPL customer outages since 2015.

Couple that with using data analytics for smarter, more efficient equipment maintenance and a comprehensive tree trimming and clearing program, and you have one of the most reliable grids around.

Among our electric utility peers, we’re a national leader in reliability. That’s a good thing, but we don’t stop trying to improve your service. You rightfully expect that from us.

You can be sure we’ll continue to innovate, looking for ways to make a very reliable grid even better. No matter what Mother Nature throws our way, you can bet the power grid delivering electricity to your home or business – and the people behind it – will serve you well.

Be Prepared for Storm Season

Be Prepared for Storm Season

No matter what kind of weather passes through our region, we’ll be prepared.

Here’s how you can stay safe and prepare for all types of storms:

  • Regularly check local news, radio, or your mobile device for information about storm watches or warnings in your area.
  • Keep supplies in an emergency preparedness kit. Include water bottles, non-perishable food, blankets, first-aid supplies, flashlights, and a battery-powered radio.
  • Make sure your yard is free of heavy debris that could be tossed around in the wind. Trim trees to prevent limbs from falling on your house.

Tornadoes

Tornadoes are capable of destroying homes, uprooting trees, and hurling objects through the air.

  • Choose a safe area in your home where you and your family can gather if a tornado warning is issued. This area should be in the basement or a room with no windows and on the lowest level of your home.
  • Conduct routine tornado drills with the entire family so everyone knows where to go and what to do if a tornado is approaching.
  • Watch for signs of a tornado: a dark-colored sky, low-lying clouds, large hail, or a loud roar.

Hurricanes

Hurricanes are violent storms that often cause property damage and life-threatening hazards, such as high winds and flooding.

  • Create an evacuation plan and practice it ahead of time to avoid confusion during the event.
  • Close windows, doors, and hurricane shutters.

Thunderstorms

Lightning kills more people every year than tornadoes and hurricanes. Rain and heavy winds can cause flooding, damage to homes, and widespread power outages.

  • If a thunderstorm appears likely, postpone all outdoor activities.
  • If a thunderstorm watch or warning is issued, take shelter in your home or other building.
  • Shutter all windows and close exterior doors securely.

Floods

Flash flooding can be among the most damaging and costly of all natural disasters.

  • If you live in a flood-prone area, keep sandbags, plywood, and plastic sheeting on hand.
  • Seal the walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.

Power outages

Although we work hard to maintain reliable electric service, a storm may lead to a power outage. You can report or check the status of an outage at pplelectric.com/outage or by texting “OUTAGE” to TXTPPL (898775).

 

Source: Questline