Electric utilities PECO and Met-Ed are closely monitoring the track of Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall in the southeastern U.S. on Thursday.
Both companies have begun planning their response should the storm impact southeastern Pennsylvania.
According to a press release issued Tuesday by PECO, in addition to its 2,600 employees, the company has secured additional support from local contractors, and has placed crews and personnel on standby.
“While PECO prepares for storm response, the company continues to participate in mutual assistance coordination calls with utilities in the path of the storm to determine if, and when, resources may be available from areas not impacted by the storm,” the release stated. In addition, if the storm does not impact the region, PECO stated it will work with its Exelon sister utilities — Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, and Pepco — as well as utilities nationwide to coordinate mutual assistance where it is needed.
Met-Ed, which is part of First Energy, said it is reviewing its storm plans in preparation for the storm.
“Those plans include staffing additional dispatchers, damage assessors and analysts at regional dispatch offices, and making arrangements to bring in additional personnel, as needed, based on the severity of the weather,” according to a Tuesday press release. In addition, the company has been in contact with contractors and electric industry mutual assistance organizations about the possibility of assisting with storm restoration efforts should it be necessary.
As part of the storm planning process, Met-Ed and its New Jersey sister company Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) are prepared to set up staging sites should they be needed.
Among the storm tips recommended by the utilities are:
• Have a flashlight with fresh batteries on each floor of your home, charge cell phones and other mobile devices, and have a supply of bottled water and easy-to-prepare, non-perishable food.
• Stay away from downed wires, damaged electric equipment and tree limbs and branches contacting electrical equipment.
• Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person.
• Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources indoors. These can cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to build up in your home.
• Keep a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand. Tune to a local station for current storm information.
PECO customers experiencing any issues with their electric or natural gas service should contact PECO at 1-800-841-4141. Customers also can report issues with electric service at peco.com using their phone, tablet or computer, or through PECO’s mobile app.
Met-Ed customers can report their outage by calling 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877 or by clicking click the "Report Outage" link on www.firstenergycorp.com.