With concerns over the possible increasing impacts of the Coronavirus COVID-19 in the Mid-Hudson Valley, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. has prepared for the potential spread of the virus.
“Central Hudson has been making preparations should the virus become more widespread among the communities we serve,” said Charles A. Freni, President and CEO. “We follow business continuity plans to ensure that vital utility services are not interrupted nor compromised.
“Our customers are depending on us, and we recognize the importance of maintaining safe and reliable electric and natural gas service, no matter what the situation may be,” said Freni. “Our contingency planning includes scenarios such as this, and we are taking steps to be prepared for the potential of a widespread outbreak that could affect our customers, employees or suppliers.”
Central Hudson is following guidelines established by the Center for Disease Control and is in communication with county and state health departments and state utility regulators to stay informed of actions that may be taken or recommended. In addition, Central Hudson is conferring with other utility companies to leverage best practices. “We are also working with our contractors and vendors to coordinate any actions that may be required in the event of a widespread outbreak,” said Freni.
He explained that preparations have been underway to enable some employees to work remotely while others may be reassigned according to need. “Just as we would respond to a storm or major event, our business continuity plans provide a framework to maintain critical operations for electric and natural gas service when the health of our communities is being affected.”
In order to ensure the continuation of safe and reliable electric and natural gas services Central Hudson is also focused on maintaining the health and safety of its employees. “We are preparing our employees to respond to emergencies in buildings and areas that may be affected by the virus.” said Freni. “When contacting us regarding an emergency, please tell us if the household or building is affected by the virus or if members of the household are ill so that our employees can respond with the proper personal protective equipment. In order to increase public safety and limit the risk of exposure to the virus we would ask our customers to consider limiting non-urgent service requests until the pandemic has subsided.
“We’re taking other precautions, too,” said Freni. “This includes ensuring that we have adequate inventories of equipment and supplies, including health care items. We have asked our employees to restrict business travel and in-person meetings, encourage web conferencing when possible. We’ve also instructed employees to follow Center for Disease Control guidance for maintaining a safe distance of six feet from others during this time.”
Customers who are impacted by this situation and have concerns about bill payment or other Central Hudson services are encouraged to make contact using Central Hudson’s online “web chat” feature, via email through the “contact us” page on the website, or by phone at 845-452-2700. For payment assistance options, visit www.CentralHudson.com/account-resources/assistance-programs/.
“We appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding as we focus on maintaining safe and reliable service during this pandemic. Our goal is to protect our employees and customers while continuing to serve our communities” said Freni.
For more information on the Coronavirus, visit the New York State Dept. of Health at www.Health.ny.gov.