Our Company 
news room

* * *
Companies Urge Customers to Be Prepared


Rochester, NY, December 19, 2008 – With storms and heavy snow fall hitting the state today and possibly through the next few days, NYSEG and RG&E are prepared to respond quickly and efficiently to any power interruptions.  Heavy snow and strong winds have the potential to inflict serious damage to utility equipment.

“Company personnel are on alert, additional resources are available, supplies are on hand and our customer relations centers are prepared,” said Mike Conroy, vice president - operations.
In the event of storm damage to electricity delivery systems, NYSEG and RG&E urge customers to avoid downed power lines. Even lines that appear dead can be deadly. NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations. RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701.

NYSEG and RG&E also remind customers to stay out of flooded basements because energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard. Natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger. If your basement or home is in danger of flooding, contact NYSEG or RG&E to turn off your electricity and/or natural gas service.  For natural gas emergencies, NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1121 and RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1702.

Here are some additional tips.
Before a storm strikes
- Anyone who uses life-sustaining equipment that operates on electricity should contact NYSEG (1.800.572.1111) or RG&E (1.800.743.2110). We may enroll you in one of our critical customer programs or provide you with specific advice on how to prepare for power interruptions.

- Keep flashlights, a battery-powered radio and fresh batteries handy.

- Have at least one telephone that is not dependent on electricity. (Cordless phones won’t work during a power interruption.)

- Keep a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand.

- If you have a cell phone, make sure the battery is fully charged.

During a power interruption
- Contact neighbors to see if their power is off. You may have simply blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker.

- Contact NYSEG (1.800.572.1131) or RG&E (1.800.743.1701) to report a power interruption, and please have your account number handy. Our telephone systems let you report the problem, help our crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provide you with power interruption updates. You can call as often as you like for updates. Because many people may be trying to reach us during a power interruption, phone lines may be busy. Please be patient.

- If your basement or home is in danger of flooding, contact NYSEG or RG&E to turn off your electricity and/or natural gas service. Never enter a flooded basement or home until electricity and natural gas service have been turned off.

- Listen to a battery-powered radio for weather and power restoration updates.

- Turn off major appliances (electric water heaters, refrigerators and freezers) and sensitive electronic equipment (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers, stereos) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean that you have to unplug it, turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse for the circuit in your home that provides power to this equipment. Leave one light switch “on” so you’ll know when power has been restored.

- Emergency generators can be dangerous. If you use one, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Never run an emergency generator indoors; operate generators only outdoors in well-ventilated areas.

- Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.

- Never use a grill or stove intended for use outdoors in your home.

- Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.

After your power is restored
- If your basement or home was flooded, have an electrician check your home and have a plumbing and heating contractor check natural gas appliances before contacting NYSEG or RG&E to have services turned on.

- Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading your circuits.

- Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.