FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 8, 2005
CONTACT: Jennifer Fennell or John Kuczwanski (850) 921-5266
Storm Plan in Place as Dennis Threatens
Gulf Power Company is preparing inventories of poles, wires and transformers and making preparations to restore electric service in the aftermath of Hurricane Dennis.
“We have a storm-tested restoration plan and we’re preparing for widespread power outages if Dennis comes ashore here,” said Lynn Erickson, company spokesman. “We are activating our emergency operation center and our employees are getting ready to restore service as quickly and safely as possible.”
Gulf Power is tracking Dennis closely and is making arrangements to bring in additional work crews from utilities across the Southeast to help repair damage to the company’s electric system.
“It’s impossible at this point to predict exactly where Dennis will hit or how long power may be out,” Erickson said. “Once the storm gets into the Gulf of Mexico we will have a better idea of potential outages. Needless to say, we are preparing for the worse.”
Erickson urged residents to follow evacuation orders and to leave the area if they are not prepared for a lengthy recovery period.
“We ask for, need, and will appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding. It’s important for everyone to have realistic expectations about the aftermath of a major hurricane. Most services will be unavailable for a long period of time. If you’re going to stay, please prepare yourself mentally and physically for the challenge. It won’t be easy.”
STORM TIPS FOR CUSTOMERS ( www.gulfpower.com )
- Turn your air conditioning down to cool down your house. If you keep the doors and windows closed after the storm you can keep your house relatively cool for about 48 hours after the storm.
- Charge up your cell phone before the storm – and anything else that needs to be charged up.
- Make a hurricane phone list and have it laminated so it doesn’t get wet. Include roofing companies, building contractors, tree cutting services, electricians, your insurance agent, neighbors you may need to call during the storm, Gulf Power, ambulance service, fire department, the hospital, you doctor, your pharmacy – anybody you may need to call during the storm or after the storm.
- Fill your butane bottle on your gas grill or portable stove.
- Wash all your dirty dishes and dirty clothes.
- Cut your grass – it’s easier to rake up all the leaves and yard debris if your grass has been recently cut.
- Start saving up plastic jugs. If a hurricane threatens, fill them up with water and place them in your freezer. A full freezer stays colder longer.
- If you have children – a hurricane can be very stressful for them. They see Mom and Dad running around making preparations. They hear the people on the news – they know something is up. So, when you put together your hurricane plan – if you have children – give them some duties to keep them busy. Let them help get their toys out of the yard, or take care of a pet – something to let them feel like they have some control of what’s going on. Also, during the storm, have a good supply of their favorite games, or books, a portable CD player. Putting headphones on a child during a storm can also help – if they are listening to their favorite music or a story on tape – that helps block out the noise of the storm. Anything that can help occupy the child in a quiet way during and after the storm will help calm everyone’s nerves.
Customer Service and power outages: 1-800-GU-POWER (487-6937)
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