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 September 12, 2017

For Release: Immediately

National Preparedness Month Encourages Readiness

September is designated National Preparedness Month, and Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. urges its customers to learn how to prepare for emergencies to keep themselves and their families safe before, during and after disasters strike.

“Recent hurricane activities affecting parts of the United States and the Caribbean serve as a strong reminder of the importance of knowing how to prepare for severe weather and what to do during emergencies,” said Charles A. Freni, Senior Vice President of Customer Service and Transmission & Distribution Operations at Central Hudson.  “The fall and winter seasons will soon arrive, and with it the potential for strong storms that could interrupt electric service. As a part of National Preparedness Month, now is a good time for our customers to speak with their families about creating a communications plan and preparing for any type of emergency.

“Safety is our first priority, and when storms and other emergencies impact our region, we follow a comprehensive emergency plan,” said Freni. “Our customers, too, should know how to prepare, understand what to do during an emergency to stay safe, create a plan to communicate with each other and know their options when communicating with Central Hudson.” He suggested that all customers:

  • Pay close attention to weather forecasts, storm warnings and travel advisories;
  • Have a telephone that does not require an electric outlet to operate;
  • Charge cell phones, or use a car cell phone charger;
  • Keep a flashlight and fresh batteries handy;
  • Have a battery-powered radio to keep informed of news advisories and restoration efforts;
  • Stock water and packaged or canned foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking;
  • Ensure adequate supplies of prescription medications, cash and other necessities;
  • Consider assembling an emergency kit of needed supplies for home or to carry if you must evacuate; to learn more, visit the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready/get-a-kit.  
  • Keep vehicles refueled and ensure that they are in good working condition;
  • Familiarize themselves in advance with the features of StormCentral on Central Hudson’s website;
  • Sign up for text messaging at com/alerts; and
  • Visit the Central Hudson Facebook page and “like” it in order to obtain updates.

Customers enrolled in the Central Hudson’s Texting Program can use text messaging to report an electric service interruption, receive text messages from Central Hudson when a power interruption is predicted to have occurred, and obtain repair status; go to www.CentralHudson.com/Alerts to register. Other ways customers can keep informed before, during and following storms and emergencies include:

  • Web: Visit the CenHub/My Account section at com to report outages and obtain restoration updates via the StormCentral function, and a mobile version of the Central Hudson’s website, including StormCentral, can be accessed by web-enabled cell phones and mobile devices at http://mobile.CentralHudson.com. Free Central Hudson mobile applications for Android, Apple and Blackberry devices are also available by logging onto www.CentralHudson.com/mobileapp.
  • Social Media: “Like” Central Hudson on Facebook (com/CentralHudson); and “Follow” on Twitter (www.twitter.com/CentralHudson).
  • Radio and news media: Listen to local radio stations for Central Hudson announcements about community resources and restoration updates during severe storms, and check reports by the local news media.
  • Phone: Call the PowerLine at (845) 452-2700 or 1-800-527-2714, and use the automated system.

 

“During emergencies, particularly during and in the aftermath of severe weather, residents should exercise extreme caution when traveling, as fallen trees and downed lines can create hazardous driving conditions,” said Freni. “Assume all fallen lines are live, and stay at least 30 feet way. Be aware of flooded roadways, and especially avoid water and objects near fallen lines as they may be in contact with electricity. Also, pay attention to road closures and detours, as repair crews may be working in the vicinity.”

During storms and emergencies, customers should follow these safety measures:

  • Stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and lines which may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees. Assume all downed lines are live;
  • Report any gas odors by calling 911 or 1-800-942-8274, as severe flooding has the potential to undermine pipelines;
  • Avoid the use of candles for illumination;
  • Follow all travel advisories, heed road closures and detours, and limit driving during and immediately following severe weather;
  • Use extreme caution when entering flooded basements, as there may be a risk of shock if the home’s or building’s electric system is compromised;
  • Follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions on the use of emergency generators, and be sure to shut off the main breaker when in use and operate the units outdoors; and
  • Never use outdoor gas or charcoal grills indoors, as they pose a fire hazard and over time can give off deadly carbon monoxide gas. Use these appliances only outdoors with proper ventilation. Operate cars and motor vehicles outdoors only, and never in the garage.

 More information on preparing for storms and emergencies and communicating with Central Hudson is available in the StormCentral section at www.CentralHudson.com; for information regarding electric and natural gas safety, visit www.CentralHudson.com/Safety; for more on National Preparedness Month, visit the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/national-preparedness-month, or go to www.Ready.Gov/September; and for important steps on creating a family communications plan, go to www.Ready.Gov/Make-A-Plan.

September is National Preparedness Month, and Central Hudson reminds its customers to plan for emergencies. The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security provides information on emergency preparedness: Don't Wait. Communicate. Make a family emergency plan today. Learn more at about emergency planning and how to build an emergency kit by going to www.ready.gov/September, or visit the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready/get-a-kit. For more on safety and emergency preparedness, also visit the StormCentral section at www.CentralHudson.com and www.CentralHudson.com/safety.

 

 

Central Hudson provides valuable information on storm preparedness, including a checklist on needed items, safety tips and ways customers can stay informed. For more, visit www.CentralHudson.com/Storms

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Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation is a regulated transmission and distribution utility serving approximately 300,000 electric and approximately 80,000 natural gas customers in eight counties of New York State's Mid-Hudson River Valley, delivering natural gas and electricity in a 2,600-square-mile service territory that extends north from the suburbs of metropolitan New York to the Capital District at Albany. Central Hudson's mission is to deliver electricity and natural gas to an expanding customer base in a safe, reliable, courteous and affordable manner; to produce growing financial returns for shareholders; to foster a culture that encourages employees to reach their full potential; and to be a good corporate citizen. Central Hudson is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For further information visit www.fortisinc.com.