OTTAWA, Oct. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - Hurricane Sandy is expected to cause significant damage as the storm continues north along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Environment Canada is forecasting that while the northeastern United States will take the brunt of the storm, "there will likely be some significant impacts in Southern and Eastern Ontario. Strong and gusty winds will be the main threat, with rainfall a lesser concern."
Hydro Ottawa continues to monitor the approaching storm and our crews are standing by to ensure the reliable supply of electricity to Ottawa homes and businesses.
As always, customers should report power outages and electrical emergencies by calling Hydro Ottawa's 24-hour Power Outage Reporting and Information line, 613-738-0188. The latest information on ongoing power outages can also be found on the online outage map at www.hydroottawa.com/outagemap. Updated every 15 minutes, the map displays the location of outages, the estimated number of customers affected, the cause of the outage, and the estimated time of restoration, once known. This site can also be accessed using a mobile device.
In the case of a fallen power line, the public should stay at least 10 metres (33 feet) away and call 911 immediately. The ground around a downed wire may be hazardous due to the flow of electricity through it. Treat all downed wires as live wires - don't touch them or any object in contact with them such as fallen trees or branches.
The attached backgrounder will help Ottawa residents be prepared and safe in case of an extended power outage.
About Hydro Ottawa
Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc. (Hydro Ottawa) owns and operates two subsidiary companies, Hydro Ottawa Limited and Energy Ottawa Inc. Hydro Ottawa Limited is the third-largest municipally-owned electrical utility in Ontario, serving more than 305,000 customers in the City of Ottawa and the Village of Casselman. Energy Ottawa Inc., Ottawa's largest producer of green power, generates renewable energy and provides commercial energy-management services.
Report power outages and electrical emergencies by calling Hydro Ottawa's 24-hour Power Outage Reporting and Information line, 613-738-0188. The latest information on ongoing power outages can also be found on the online outage map at www.hydroottawa.com/outagemap. Updated every 15 minutes, the map displays the location of outages, the estimated number of customers affected, the cause of the outage, and the estimated time of restoration, once known. This site can also be accessed using a mobile device.
How to be Prepared
Hydro Ottawa recommends that customers keep essential supplies on hand in the event of an emergency. Be prepared, and follow these helpful tips to stay safe in case of an extended power outage.
Preparing for a power outage:
- If you require an uninterrupted supply of power, including for specialized medical equipment, you are advised to ensure that you have a back-up supply in place.
- Have a first aid kit prepared with adequate supplies to keep you and your entire family self-sufficient in your home for at least three days. Be sure to include prescription medicine and contact lens solution.
- Keep enough water to sustain you for three days without power. You need at least two bottles of drinking water per adult per day. Extra water is needed for cooking and washing.
- Keep an emergency food kit in your home. Food should be easy to store with no need for refrigeration or cooking. Some suggested food items include: grain products, canned food (meat, fish, soup), peanut butter, nuts, energy bars, nonperishable milk products, and pasta sauce dishes. Have additional supplies, such as cutlery, cups, plates and a manual can opener in your kit as well.
- Keep several flashlights with fresh batteries and spare bulbs.
- Make sure you have a battery operated or windup radio to stay in touch if there is no power. This will enable you to stay tuned into local media for updates.
- Ensure you have a phone that does not require electricity.
- Ensure your home has a battery-powered smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector to keep your family safe.
During Extended Power Outages
- Unplug appliances and electronics to help avoid a power surge when electricity is restored.
- If a power outage is expected to last for some time during the winter:
- Shut off power to the water heater.
- Shut off water at the main valve (usually found in the basement near the water meter).
- Open taps to drain the pipes. Leave the taps open.
- Flush toilets to empty them.
- Drain appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines.
- In the event of adverse weather, stay in your home for as long as you are safe, warm and can feed yourself.
- Food in freezers will keep for 24 to 48 hours without power. Food in refrigerators will keep for up to 12 hours if the door is kept shut. If the power remains off for more than one day and the temperature is below zero, store perishable food in a cooler in an unheated garage or balcony.
- If you use a fireplace for heat, check chimneys for creosote buildup or debris. Do not leave the fire unattended for long periods of time.
- Close room doors to keep heat in a confined area.
- Use flashlights. Candles can be a fire hazard. If you must use candles, place them in a non-combustible container away from drapes and carpet.
- Barbecues and camp stoves should only be used outdoors.
- If your garage door is stuck closed, pull the emergency release cord that hangs from most door openers, and then raise the door by hand.
- Generators should never be used indoors as exhaust fumes could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning if they are not properly vented.
- Plug your appliances directly into the generator. Only a licensed electrician should connect a generator to your home's electrical panel. Generators that are incorrectly connected to the power grid could present a safety hazard to utility workers and a potential technical risk to the distribution network and neighbouring customers.
SOURCE: Hydro Ottawa Holding
For further information:
Manager, Public Affairs
Tel: 613-738-5499 ext. 7684