A winter storm warning is in effect for the area through 6 a.m. Wednesday, with the possibility of between eight inches and one foot of snow accumulation.
Heavy snow, icing and strong winds can increase the possibility of downed wires and associated power outages. The increased likelihood of vehicles striking utility poles as the result of hazardous road conditions can also cause downed wires.
PSE&G is also monitoring its gas system to meet customer demands, including maintaining and adjusting pressure at various points in the system and keeping extra gas personnel on hand throughout the storm.
The electric company also offers the following tips:
For customers with insufficient or no heat:
• Seal up openings around and under doors and windows;
• Make sure all storm windows are down and tightly closed;
• Lower thermostats serving unused rooms;
• Close dampers in unused fireplaces;
• Move furniture and drapes away from heating registers, radiators, and baseboard element covers;
• Open any register or baseboard dampers;
• Warm air systems - replace dirty/clogged air filters; and
• Steam systems - check for sufficient water levels in the sight glass.
If meters are scheduled to be read:
• Clear snowdrifts away from the meter and piping;
• Do not pile snow on top of the gas meter or around its connecting piping when you are shoveling your premises;
• Brush snow from the meter and piping before a thick layer of ice builds up;
• Clear snow from dryer vents to prevent fumes from backing up into your house;
• Ensure walkways and entrance
ways are cleared of snow and ice;
• Ensure a clear pathway to the meter;
• Secure pets while meters are being read; and
• Utilize our Record-a-Reading option or enter your reading on-line via the PSE&G website on www.pseg.com.
General tips and safety:
• Be cautious when using space heaters. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and heed warning labels. Be sure all members of the household understand how to operate space heaters safely;
• Don’t try to use a gas oven or range to heat a room - the appliance will deplete oxygen from the air, causing asphyxiation or deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO) -- an invisible, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating gas -- is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in the United States. Natural gas, oil, propane, coal or wood, produces CO;
• The first line of defense against CO poisoning is to make sure all your fuel-burning appliances operate and are maintained properly. These appliances include gas and oil furnaces, water heaters, gas ranges, space heaters, and gas clothes dryers. Improperly vented fireplaces and charcoal grills can also give off CO;
• Invest in carbon monoxide detectors as back-up protection, not as a substitute for proper use and maintenance of the fuel-burning appliances. CO alarms can provide an early warning to consumers before CO builds up to a dangerous level. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends placing a carbon monoxide alarm in every area of the house. If just one alarm is installed, it should be placed near the sleeping rooms of the house. If you already have one, remember to check the batteries regularly; and
• If you are calling for service, please make sure that your walkways are clear of snow and ice for safe access by our employees.
Create a safety kit that includes:
A battery powered radio;
A corded telephone. (Cordless phones will not work if the power is out.);
Flashlights and extra fresh batteries;
A first-aid kit;
Bottled water and an adequate supply of non-perishable food;
A non-electric can opener;
Matches and candles with holders;
Extra blankets and sleeping bags; and
A list of emergency phone numbers, including PSE&G’s Customer Service line: 1-800-436-PSEG. Call this number to report power outages or downed wires.
PSE&G uses an automated system to handle customer calls as efficiently as possible. Customers who get an automated response when calling PSE&G are encouraged to use it, as it is designed to route their calls to the right destination quickly. The system also provides the option to speak directly to a customer service representative. If you have specific information regarding damage to wires, transformers or poles, speak with a representative to provide that information.
Customers with a handheld device, or who are at an alternate location with power, can also report power outages and view the status of their outage by logging in to My Account at pseg.com.
The utility’s Twitter page also keeps the public informed about our restoration progress. Sign up as a follower at http://twitter.com/psegdelivers to monitor restoration progress. Customers also can register for text and email alerts at pseg.com/myaccount.