PowerStream encourages customers to be prepared for power outages

Be safe - stay away from downed powerlines, follow fire safety rules for alternate lighting or heating

VAUGHAN, ON, Dec. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The latest weekend weather forecast for the PowerStream service area is indicating the possibility of significant freezing rain starting Saturday afternoon continuing through to Sunday evening. This prolonged event could yield significant ice accumulations. The company's System Control Centre is continuing to monitor weather forecasts and storm models. Mitigation strategies are being made to prepare line crews and additional field and communications staff to respond as the situation evolves.

The build-up of ice on overhead power lines and tree branches may cause power outages, some lengthy. PowerStream encourages its customers and others in southern Ontario to be prepared for power outages - before the power goes out. Emergency Management Ontario and local emergency responders recommend that residents prepare and plan to be self-sufficient for 72 hours in an emergency situation.

Power Outage Preparation - Know what to do before the power goes out, during a power outage and after power is restored, available on the PowerStream website, is an extensive list of do's, don'ts and instructions including Do build a 72-hour emergency kit before the power goes out, Do follow the Ontario Fire Marshal's fire safety rules if using candles or lanterns, Do stay away from downed powerlines and Don't ever use a charcoal or gas barbecue, camping heating equipment or portable generator indoors. They produce deadly carbon monoxide gas, during a power outage.

More emergency preparedness information and updates are available at Emergency Management Ontario.

QUOTES

  • "When responding to any power outage or electrical emergency, our first priority is safety; for the public and our employees. Once areas are made safe, an orderly process determines our restoration priorities," explained Brian Bentz, PowerStream President and CEO. "Our first efforts are directed to restore power to community critical locations such as hospitals, police, fire, and ambulance facilities, and other locations such as senior's homes, water pumping stations, sewage plants and communication centres. Our next priorities are dense neighbourhoods where PowerStream crews can restore power to the most customers in the least amount of time. Crews are then directed to smaller and individual outages."
  • "The weight of the ice build-up on overhead power lines and tree branches can cause extensive damage to electricity distribution equipment, sometimes resulting in extended power outages. I encourage you to think about essential items you might need during the coming days, in addition to flashlights and batteries," said Linas Medelis, Vice President of Customer Service. "Prescription drugs, diapers, a full tank of gas. Our Power Outage Preparation Guide contains a list to get you started, but be sure to consider what else you might need."

BACKGROUND

  • PowerStream customers can call 1-877-777-3810 to report power outages, downed powerlines and electrical emergencies. Callers can also hear restoration information about reported outages.
  • Follow @PowerStreamNews or #pwrout on Twitter for power outage and restoration information and updates; go to www.PowerStream.ca/PowerOutages on your desktop or mobile device.
  • Power Outage Preparation - Know what to do before the power goes out, during a power outage and after power is restored - and other online power outage information and resources are available on the PowerStream website www.PowerStream.ca.

ABOUT POWERSTREAM

PowerStream is a community-owned energy company providing power and related services to more than 360,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the Cities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan.

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CATEGORIES - Power Outage, Safety, Community   KEYWORDS - Ice Storm, Freezing Rain, Emergency Preparedness

SOURCE Power Stream Inc.

For further information:

Daloris Grohman, Digital & Customer Communications Specialist
Media Line (24/7): 905-532-4400  
Email: News@PowerStream.ca
Website: www.PowerStream.ca