Tropical Storm Bertha signaled the start of hurricane season when it made landfall last week in South Carolina. Dominion Energy customers in Virginia and the Carolinas can continue to expect excellent response from crews this hurricane season as a result of measures taken to adapt to coronavirus impacts. Crews have access to resources necessary to respond safely and quickly to storm-related outages.
"Our team is prepared for a busy hurricane season and has spent the past three months incorporating new practices and health and safety guidelines that protect us, our colleagues and the public from spreading the coronavirus," said Ed Baine, senior vice president of Power Delivery. "Even with additional precautions necessary during these unprecedented times, our crews will continue to be responsive and prepared to restore power safely and quickly."
Employees are following the hygiene practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including the use of face coverings, frequent hand washing and the use of gloves. Workstations and vehicle interiors are wiped down each day. Additionally, employees check their temperature and answer health screening questions at least once every day.
Public safety remains extremely important. In addition to essential services, such as hospitals, fire and police departments, public water systems, and 911 call centers, coronavirus testing and treatment centers have also been added to the company's restoration strategy.
"As we saw with previous storms, including Hurricane Dorian, we have an experienced power restoration team, as well as a comprehensive plan to respond to the extensive damage that severe weather can cause," said Keller Kissam, Dominion Energy South Carolina president of Electric Operations. "We encourage our customers to be prepared at home to keep their families safe with emergency supplies, including face masks, hand sanitizer and wipes."
There are many ways to begin preparing early. Here's how you can prepare for severe weather:
- Create an emergency kit with flashlights, batteries, cleaning supplies and face coverings.
- Prepare a first-aid kit with bandages, anti-bacterial wipes, over-the-counter medications, and prescription medications.
- Remember to carry your healthcare information with you and to prepare your medical devices, especially if you are disabled or elderly.
- Download the Dominion Energy App to track restoration efforts and report outages quickly and safely.
- Prepare a supply of water and non-perishable food.
- Charge your phone and other electronic devices fully before the storm arrives.
- Make sure your contact information is updated in our system so that we have a way to get in touch with you.
Safety is always our first priority. Here's how you can stay safe during storms:
- Beware of downed power lines. Assume they are energized and dangerous. Stay at least 30 feet away and call Dominion Energy immediately.
- Virginia and North Carolina customers please call 1-866-366-4357.
- South Carolina customers please call 1-888-333-4465.
- Connect your generator properly. Ensure it is fueled and tested before the severe weather arrives. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and always operate outdoors with good ventilation.
For more information, visit DominionEnergy.com/outages/outage-safety-and-preparation/hurricane-prep.