KU plans year-round for Mother Nature’s worst, urges customers to be ready, too
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 20, 2013) — Now that spring is officially here, spring storms are probably on the way. Kentucky Utilities Co. and Louisville Gas and Electric Co., which serve 546,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia, offer simple ways customers can plan for severe weather.
KU takes steps year-round to prepare for the effects of inclement weather and encourages its customers to plan ahead, too, so they can be safe during storm events:
Plan ahead: Visit www.ready.gov to make a plan and learn how to build an emergency supply kit, which should include items such as prescription medicines, weather radio, important phone numbers, a first aid kit, flashlights and extra batteries, to name a few.
Before severe weather strikes, KU prepares by monitoring weather conditions, placing field crews and contact centers on alert and readying operating equipment and material. Throughout the year, KU makes infrastructure investments and performs regular system maintenance such as tree trimming and hazardous tree removals to enhance system reliability.
Stay informed: During outage situations, system and restoration updates are provided through LG&E and KU’s automated phone system, online outage map and outage map app. At the beginning of a widespread restoration event, the companies must first assess damage to the electric system before repairs can be prioritized.
Keeping customers informed of the companies’ progress is an essential part of LG&E and KU’s emergency response plan. In times of widespread power outages, general restoration information and safety tips are provided on LG&E and KU’s Facebook page, Twitter feed and official company blog.
Be safe: Always assume any downed wire is an energized power line. Stay away and report it immediately. KU customers should call 1-800-981-0600. Visit www.lge-ku.com/storm for important safety information concerning portable generators, food storage and electric service.
In responding to major power outages across the utilities’ service territory, a priority is given to critical-care organizations, such as hospitals, fire and police stations and nursing homes. At the same time, KU crews focus on restoring service to utility infrastructure like water and sewer pumping stations as well as schools and airports.
KU must repair any critical infrastructure that might be damaged from the storm, such as the transmission lines and substations that carry electricity into neighborhoods and commercial areas, before power can be restored to those locations.
The goal then is to fix a problem that will restore power to large groups of customers simultaneously, so hundreds or even thousands of customers come back online with one repair job. Crews then move on to where they can get neighborhoods restored and continue until they address outages that affect individual streets and homes.
Customers’ experiencing a power outage should report it to the company by either using the online outage reporting system or by calling KU at 1-800-981-0600.
While every storm is unique and presents distinct challenges to utility crews, KU remains committed to restoring power safely and as quickly as possible and keeping customers informed every step of the way.