Georgia Power prepared for second weekend of potential severe storms as COVID-19 pandemic continues
April 17, 2020
With storms predicted to impact the state for the second consecutive weekend, including potential torrential rains, Georgia Power remains committed to providing its 2.6 million customers safe and reliable service during the COVID-19 pandemic, while offering important safety tips and storm resources. Spring is one of the most active seasons for severe thunderstorms with lightning, hail and tornadoes, though severe weather can happen at any time.
Storm Response Pandemic Preparations
Georgia Power constantly monitors changing weather conditions and is prepared to respond to service interruptions that might occur because of severe weather while taking proactive actions including special “distancing” and other precautions to help protect customers and employees from the spread of the virus.
The company’s investments in Smart Grid technology and increased automation in recent years mean an increased ability to more quickly isolate outages to smaller numbers of customers and reroute power remotely for improved reliability. In addition, the company’s comprehensive pandemic plans help ensure readiness of the critical personnel and facilities necessary to continue providing the safe and reliable energy customers expect and deserve.
In the field, the power restoration process includes these key steps:
- Assessing Conditions – Responding crews – or in major storms, damage assessment teams – work to identify trouble spots and the resources needed to fix them, which could involve coming onto customers’ property. Crews will employ appropriate distancing efforts and customers are asked to keep children and pets indoors and maintain safe distances from crew members as well.
- Making Repairs – Georgia Power crews focus on repairs that return power to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time.
Ways you can help keep workers safe while they work in the field:
- If you see utility crews, please stay back a minimum of six feet – much more if they are working.
- Please, no cookies or treats for workers during this time. Give a wave or thumbs up to workers you see. They’ll understand your gratitude as they work to keep the lights on.
- Don’t touch utility trucks or equipment. Electric providers are operating under modified conditions to keep workers safe, which includes additional cleaning and sanitation of tools and equipment.
- Post your appreciation for lineworkers on social media using the hashtag #ThankaLineman. April is lineworkers appreciation month.
Georgia Power reminds customers to keep safety first during severe weather and offers the following storm tips:
- Before a Storm: Stay aware and check the weather forecast before heading outdoors. Check your emergency kit, unplug major appliances and charge cell phones in case you lose power.
- During a Storm: Take safe shelter inside a sturdy building away from windows and doors. Avoid contact with conductors of electricity - appliances, metal objects and water. Watch for rising water levels. Quickly go to high ground if you see or hear rapidly rising water.
- After a Storm: Never touch any downed or low-hanging wire, including telephone or TV wires that touch a power line. Never pull tree limbs off power lines or enter areas with debris or downed trees as downed power lines may be buried in wreckage. Additionally, do not walk or drive through standing water as it may conceal live wires brought down by the storm.
Remote Customer Resources
Customers can subscribe to Georgia Power’s YouTube Storm Channel for the latest safety videos and can connect with Georgia Power on Facebook and Twitter for helpful information every day, and restoration updates during severe weather. Georgia Power offers the following videos, tools and tips to help customers prepare for severe weather:
- Outage Alerts – Subscribe to the free Georgia Power Outage Alert service to receive personalized notifications and updates via text message.
- Outage Maps – Customers can follow progress on outages in their town or across the state on the company’s outage map available at www.georgiapower.com/storm online or on the Georgia Power mobile app on your smartphone.
- Georgia Power Mobile App – Download the Georgia Power mobile app for Apple and Android devices to access storm and outage information on the go.