September is National Preparedness Month, and amid an active storm season, we encourage you to plan ahead so you’re ready if an emergency strikes.
“This year, we have already experienced 36 storms across the regions we serve,” said Sal Salet, vice president of Distribution Operations. “While we continually maintain and upgrade our grid to better withstand more severe storms, we recommend all of our customers plan ahead to be ready for any emergency.”
Here are a few steps to get you started:
- Make a plan: Develop an emergency plan including everyone in your household so you’ll know how and where to meet, how you’ll contact each other and what to do in different situations.
- Be prepared: Prepare an emergency kit, including non-perishable food, water, medication, first aid supplies and any pet supplies you may need. Also include batteries and battery-operated flashlights. Store your emergency kit in one location that’s easy for everyone to find and preferably in an air-tight container.
- Stay Informed: We use several ways to communicate before storms and during emergencies. One way to stay informed is through alerts. Sign into your online account and adjust your alert preferences at pplelectric.com/alerts. You can choose to receive a phone call, email, or text message for status updates about an outage. For more tips on reporting outages and staying safe during a storm, visit pplelectric.com/outage.
We also take storm-prep very seriously and constantly prepare for emergencies. Here are a few things we do to prevent outages:
- Ongoing investments: Throughout the year, we make key investments to strengthen our electric system to be more resilient against severe weather. This work includes investments in grid automation, comprehensive line clearing and enhancements to power lines, poles, and other equipment. Since 2015, our smart grid technology alone has avoided more than 1.7 million outages.
- Training and safety measures: Our teams are constantly training on storm-response techniques and practicing how we respond and dispatch crews. Leading up to severe weather, our team monitors the weather and its impact across surrounding regions so we already have crews ready to respond when the storm hits.
- Mutual response: We maintain mutual assistance relationships that provide access to critical resources and hundreds of crews in 29 states and four provinces in Canada when mobilizing for potential large-scale restoration efforts.
“Our customers are always top priority,” said Salet. “That remains true whether we are restoring power after a storm or planning investments to our grid.”
Don’t wait for a storm to hit. Use National Preparedness Month as a reminder to make a plan, create a kit and be prepared for any type of emergency. Stay safe!