Jersey Central Power & Light has summoned more than 120 utility workers from Ohio and secured 120 tree contractor crews to help the utility company fix any power outages that may be caused by an approaching storm, the company has announced.
Forecasters say the storm could bring several inches of snow and strong wind gusts.
JCP&L, which has 1.1 million customers in 13 counties in New Jersey, said in a news release crews are ready to work around-the-clock if needed.
JCP&L also is communicating with emergency management, state and local officials about its storm preparation efforts, and has added weather advisory information to its 24/7 Power Center, which shows power outages in the state. Well water and life support customers are being contacted about the potential for power outages.
The company also said customers can use its smartphone app to report outages and access account information. A new mobile website also is available to customers who visit http://www.jcp-l.com/ on their smartphones.
JCP&L, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., serves customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.
Customers without power are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the "Report Outage" link on http://www.firstenergycorp.com/.
Tips for customers to prepare for outages, from JCP&L:
- Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy. Use care when burning candles; open flames are a fire hazard.
- Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person. Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources to prevent deadly carbon monoxide gas from building up in your home.
- If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill your bathtub with fresh water.
- Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.
- Keep a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand. Tune to a local station for current storm information.
- Have a hard-wired telephone or a charged cell phone handy in the event you need to report your electricity is out. Mobile phones can be charged in your vehicle using a car charger when the power is out. If you have a smart phone, this will ensure you have access to online information sources.
- Customers should immediately report downed wires to their local utility or local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it's no longer carrying electricity.
- Don't try to remove trees or tree limbs from power lines. Wait for utility crews to arrive.
- Emergency power generators offer an option for customers needing or wanting uninterrupted service. However, to ensure the safety of the home's occupants as well as that of utility company employees who may be working on power lines in the area, the proper generator should be selected and installed by a qualified electrician. When operating a generator, the power coming into the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.