Central Maine Power, the oncoming storm, outage alerts and safety advice

Posted:  Monday, March 13, 2017 - 8:00pm
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The Nov. 2 storm in 2014 took power out for a week in some towns.

Central Maine Power Company has been holding planning meetings for the major winter storm. The company is pre-positioning personnel and equipment to ensure that adequate resources are in place to restore power outages that might occur as a result of the storm. If needed, the company can also call on resources from the other AVANGRID energy companies in Connecticut and New York, as well as contractors and regional mutual assistance partners. The company is also coordinating its preparations with the Maine Emergency Management Agency and county emergency management personnel.

CMP is a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR). It suggests enrolling in the CMP Alerts service, which provides the latest information about power outages by text message, email, or voice message.

Power outages can be reported on line at CMP's mobile-friendly website (https://m.cmpco.com/mt/ecmp.cmpco.com/WebOutage) or by calling 1.800.696.1000. CMP’s systems automatically create a work order and set the stage for dispatch of crews to the outage location.

Bookmark the Outage Central page at http://www.cmpco.com/Outages/default.html (mobile friendly at https://m.cmpco.com/mt/www.cmpco.com) and follow CMP on Facebook and Twitter for current outage and safety information.

"Every hour of every day, we are prepared to respond to power interruptions, but in a case like this, all employees throughout the company are on heightened alert," said Sara Burns, president and CEO of CMP, in a news release. "Our customer relations centers, line crews, and other personnel are prepared, and we have materials on hand to repair any damage to our electricity delivery systems."

CMP offers customers the following tips to prepare for the storm and stay safe and comfortable if power outages do occur.

Keep battery-operated flashlights and radios on hand, along with supplies of drinking water and non-perishable foods.

Make sure that smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices are fully charged.

Fill your car's fuel tank.

When using an emergency heating source, like a wood stove, fireplace, or kerosene heater, keep fuels away from the flames and be sure to ventilate properly.

Never use grills or camp stoves indoors — they can give off dangerous gases.

Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours or longer if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.

Turn off or unplug major appliances to avoid overloading circuits when power is restored.

For customers with generators:
Hire a licensed electrician to install permanent generators and transfer switches.
Properly ground all portable generators.
Carefully read and observe all instructions in your generator's operating manual.
Never run a generator indoors, or even in an open garage.
If your carbon monoxide detector goes off – get out of the building immediately and call 911.
Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it's running.

Refer to CMP's web page on generator safety: http://www.cmpco.com/UsageAndSafety/electricalsafety/GeneratorSafety/default.html
· Visit http://www.cmpco.com/Outages/storm_safety.html for additional storm safety information.

After power is restored

· Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading circuits.

· If a basement or home was flooded, have an electrician check the home before contacting CMP to have services turned on.

· Replenish any emergency supplies used during the storm.

The company urges customers to use caution if they see downed lines.

"Everyone should stay clear of any downed power lines or fallen trees that may be tangled in the lines," said CMP Spokesperson Gail Rice. "All downed lines should be considered live and dangerous. Customers should leave the clean-up to our crews, who are trained and equipped to handle these situations safely."

CMP also reminds drivers to use caution when approaching utility crews. The working conditions are difficult, and the workers appreciate everyone's consideration for their safety.

Additional information on storm safety and restoration, including a town-by-town listing of outages in the CMP service area with an area map, can be found on CMP's web site at www.cmpco.com.