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O&R Preps For Possible Hurricane Sandy Power Outages

Experts don't know when, or exactly how hard, Sandy will hit

Orange & Rockland, the utility that serves over 6,600 residential and business customers in Ramsey, said in a release Thursday it is enacting an Emergency Preparedness Plan to deal with the possible effects of Hurricane Sandy this weekend or next week.

O&R has begun to assemble weekend work teams and make up schedules, readying work units so they’ll be prepared to head out at the first sign of a storm, and talking with neighboring utilities about the possible impact of the storm. It is also coordinating a mutual aid plan.

As of Friday morning, the National Weather Service was predicting chances of rain beginning Saturday afternoon, with the heaviest rain falling Sunday night through Tuesday.

The NWS also issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for the area, warning of the possible impacts of Sandy.

According to a post on the Ramsey Office of Emergency Management’s Facebook page, Sandy is expected to produce anywhere from 3 – 4 inches of rain to 8 – 9. Winds will be very gusty, so downed branches are expected, the post said.

O&R recommends residents take the following precautions when preparing for the storm:

  • For safety’s sake, don’t touch or approach any downed wire. Assume it is energized and dangerous. Call O&R immediately toll-free 1-877-434-4100. Depending on the situation, you may also want to call your local police to divert traffic until an O&R crew arrives.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 50 feet from downed wires and anything they are in contact with including puddles of water and fences. Supervise your children so that they are not in the vicinity and keep pets on a leash.
  • If a fallen wire is draped over a car, do not approach the car and make rescue attempts. Remain a safe distance away, and try to keep the occupant of the vehicle calm. If possible, emergency personnel should handle the situation.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food, bottled water, manual can opener, baby supplies and pet food. Set your refrigerator and freezer controls to their coldest settings. Fill the bathtub with water.
  • Have emergency equipment within reach — portable radio, flashlights, candles and matches, spare batteries, first aid kit, cell phone and important medications. Update your personal list of emergency phone numbers. Keep O&R’s toll-free number 1-877-434-4100 near the phone to report power outages.
  • If you experience a power outage, don’t assume that O&R automatically knows about it or that someone else will report it. To be sure the outage is reported, please call O&R toll-free at 1-877-434-4100 to let O&R know what happened. The more information you can provide, the more O&R can help you.
  • Remember, if the base station of your cordless phone plugs into the wall, your phone will be unusable during a power outage.
  • If a family member relies on electrically operated medical devices, secure a portable generator or make alternate arrangements for care. O&R does not provide customers with generators.
  • Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car. Consider having extra cash on-hand, in case ATM machines don’t work.
  • Listen for storm alerts on the radio. In case of power outages, O&R will keep the stations updated on repair progress.
  • Learn how to manually open and close any electrically powered garage door, security door or gate.

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