How to weather a storm

How to Weather a Storm

In the Coastal Empire, Hurricane season presents a threat for nearly half of the year. Less catastrophic, but more frequent are the sudden summer storms we often experience. High winds, lightning and falling trees often make power outages unavoidable. In addition, When outages occur, we do everything possible to restore your power as quickly as possible. Our telephone hotline helps us do an even better job by allowing you to report your outages faster. The hotline can handle up to 1,200 calls simultaneously, providing an area-specific message detailing the cause of the outage and possible restoration time, if available.

Our First Priorities

Our first responsibility in a major storm is to restore electricity to hospitals, police stations, and other vital public services. At the same time, we must be certain all hazards— snapped or leaning utility poles, uprooted trees or fallen wires — are cleared. Before we can restore your service, we must first repair damaged transmission lines, substations, main electric lines, and wires that power your street. We then repair any downed or damaged lines between utility poles and homes. Because we cannot predict when your service will be restored, we suggest that you make arrangements for persons with serious medical problems or other disabilities to be moved to another location where service is available, until power is restored.

Media Information

Savannah Electric’s Corporate Communications Department provides repair and restoration updates to all area media representatives on a regular basis. A portable radio (with batteries) will ensure that you are kept informed of the latest developments and updates.

Reacting to Emergencies

If widespread service interruptions occur, we’ll implement our REACT (Restoration Evaluation and Communications Techniques) program. REACT is an emergency response plan that utilizes almost 600 employees to determine the extent of damage to our system and restore your service quickly and safely. The REACT program is reviewed and revised to ensure its effectiveness. And our employees participate in training sessions to maintain maximum efficiency. We work closely with the Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) in the planning and coordination of our emergency response.

Portable Electric Generators

During hurricane season, portable electric generators can be a real convenience by keeping electric appliances running when the power goes off. But generators can be deadly when used improperly. DO NOT plug the portable generators into a wall outlet. The electric current produced by the generator could become a dangerous force if it is allowed to travel throughout your home’s wiring and feed back into power lines being worked on by a lineperson. The same outside transformer that reduces high-voltage electricity from lines to normal household levels can act in reverse and change the low-voltage electricity produced by the generator to thousands of volts. Repair crews working to restore your power could be seriously injured or killed — even if they are some distance from your home. Other emergency workers, your neighbors, or members of your family, could be injured or killed should they come in contact with downed wires in the area. The proper way to use a portable generator is to plug the appliances you want to use directly into the generator’s power outlets. If you do take the chance of plugging into wall outlets, you must trip your main breaker or fuse to disconnect your house from our system.

Disconnect Appliances

Disconnect or shut off any appliances that will turn on automatically when power is restored, including air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, and water pumps. Be certain that washers, dryers, and televisions are shut off. They can be turned on individually when service is restored. It is helpful to our crews in the field, however, if you leave a porch light switched on so that they will be able to immediately determine the success of specific repairs.