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Sept. 12, 2018
For Release: Immediately
National Preparedness Month Offers Lessons on Safety 

Disasters can happen at any time and often without warning. That’s why Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation encourages its customers to take steps to protect themselves and their families before an emergency strikes.

“September is designated National Preparedness Month, and is an important reminder to learn how to keep safe before, during and after disasters,” said Charles A. Freni, Senior Vice President of Customer Services and Transmission & Distribution Operations at Central Hudson. “The hurricane season is upon us, but emergencies can happen any time of the year. When storms impact our region, Central Hudson follows a comprehensive emergency plan,” he said.

“Our customers, too, should develop their own plan to ensure adequate supplies of necessary items, communicate with family members and community resources including Central Hudson, and stay safe during and after emergencies,” he said, and suggested that customers prepare by:

  • Paying close attention to weather forecasts, storm warnings and travel advisories;
  • Having a telephone that does not require an electric outlet to operate;
  • Charging cell phones, or using a car cell phone charger;
  • Keep a flashlight and fresh batteries handy;
  • Having a battery-powered radio to keep informed of news advisories and restoration efforts;
  • Stocking water supplies and packaged or canned foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking;
  • Ensuring adequate supplies of prescription medications, cash and other necessities;
  • 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.  
  • Keeping vehicles refueled and ensuring that they are in good working condition;
  • Familiarizing themselves in advance with the features of StormCentral on Central Hudson’s website;
  • Signing up for text messaging at www.CentralHudson.com/Alerts; and
  • Visiting the Central Hudson Facebook page and “like” it to obtain updates.

“Residents should exercise extreme caution when traveling during severe weather and other emergencies, 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.”

Other safety measures include:

  • Staying 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;
  • Reporting any gas odors by calling 911 or 1-800-942-8274, as severe flooding has the potential to undermine pipelines;
  • Never removing a tree or limb from or in contact with a power line, as the tree may also be energized; rather, allowing professionals with the proper safety equipment to perform this work;
  • Avoiding the use of candles for illumination;
  • Following all travel advisories, heed road closures and detours, and limit driving during and immediately following severe weather;
  • Using 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;
  • Following 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
  • Using outdoor gas or charcoal grills outdoors only and never indoors, as they pose a fire hazard and over time can give off deadly carbon monoxide gas. Use these outdoors with proper ventilation.
  • Operating cars and motor vehicles outdoors only, and never in the garage.

 

Communicating with Central Hudson

Central Hudson offers many ways to stay informed before, during and following storms and emergencies and on the status of service restorations.

Enrolled customers 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 include:

  • Web: Visit the CenHub/My Account section at www.CentralHudson.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) and Instagram (www.Instagram.com/Central_Hudson).
  • 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.

 To learn more about preparing for storms and emergencies and communicating with Central Hudson, visit 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.

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September is National Preparedness Month, and residents are urged to be prepared before disaster strikes.  Learn how to build an emergency kit by going to www.ready.gov/September, or visit the American Red Cross at 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.