With last years barrage of Southeast hurricanes fresh in mind, Savannah Electric is already preparing for the coming storm season. 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, April 7, 2005, Savannah Electric will mobilize one of its prearranged staging areas in the old Wal-Mart parking lot at 14030 Abercorn Extension (across from Savannah Mall) as part of its annual REACT Day disaster drill. Implementing lessons-learned from the storms that hit Florida in 2004, employees will practice plans to field, support, house and feed a huge restoration force.
Savannah Electric also 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.
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) plan utilizes over 500 company employees and retirees and hundreds of contract workers. It outlines special emergency operating procedures designed to restore electric service safely, quickly and efficiently in the wake of natural disasters. The program is refined each year to improve the companys ability to respond effectively.
While this day is set aside for disaster planning, many Savannah Electric employees actually train throughout the year in preparation for emergencies.
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 or 921-3861 to schedule an appointment if a site-visit is desired on Thursday. Media events at the staging area will take place between 10:15 A.M. and 11:00 A.M.