An old military maxim says amateurs discuss strategy while professionals discuss logistics. Safely and efficiently restoring electric service after a major hurricane will require mobilizing and supporting over 1,000 electrical workers, hundreds of vehicles and tons of heavy equipment in an evacuated and storm-devastated area. Basic services motels, restaurants, gas stations normally taken for granted will not be available.
On Thursday, March 25, 2004, Savannah Electric will mobilize one of its prearranged staging areas in the Victory Drive Shopping Center (old K-Mart parking lot) as part of its annual REACT Day disaster drill. Employees will demonstrate how to field, support, house and feed a huge restoration force. A demonstration of Heater Meals, the small, self-contained meals that turn their packaging boxes into billowing steam ovens, will be made at midday.
Other employees will report to locations across the Savannah Electric service area to review their REACT assignments, survey the electrical system and check pre-stocked supplies.
The REACT (Restoration Evaluation and Communications Techniques) program is refined each year to better address just such concerns. The plan utilizes over 500 company employees, retirees and hundreds of contract workers in implementing special emergency operating procedures designed to restore electric service safely, quickly and efficiently in the wake of natural disasters.
While this day is set aside for disaster planning, many Savannah Electric employees actually train throughout the year in preparation for emergencies. Some of this training involves restoration procedures, which will be demonstrated in the Savannah Electric training yard on Wednesday afternoon at its Kilowatt Dr. location.
In addition, the company works closely with the Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) and other private and governmental organizations in planning and coordinating our emergency response, some of whom will be on hand at Thursdays staging area demonstration.
So that our employees can devote full attention to the exercise, routine work is not scheduled for this day. For urgent situations customers may still call 1-800-437-3890 or the Outage Hotline at 1-800-390-2834. Customer Service offices will be open.
Note to media: Please contact Corporate Communications at 238-2225 to schedule an appointment if a site-visit is desired on Wednesday or Thursday.