The following is a Press Release from Entergy:
With the 2012 hurricane season officially under way, Entergy employees across Louisiana are ready to quickly and safely restore power should a major storm threaten Louisiana.
Entergy's employees prepare year-round to ensure they can provide the exceptional emergency response that has earned Edison Electric Institute awards for Entergy 14 years in a row. Just as employees remain ready to mobilize for any storm threatening our service territory, customers are encouraged to be prepared by developing their personal storm plans to ensure the safety of their families, neighbors and personal property.
"Preparation for hurricanes or other major weather events is something we focus on every single day of the year," said Bill Mohl, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana. "As proud as we are of our record of excellence in emergency response, our employees are committed to always providing the best service to our customers, storm or no storm. And we know that each experience offers us the opportunity to continue to learn, evolve and improve.
"In recent years, we've put that commitment into action by responding to some of history's most destructive weather events – including hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes and river flooding," he added. "While experts predict this hurricane season will be less active, both Entergy and our customers must continue to make preparation a priority. Just one storm, if it comes our way, can have a major impact."
Storm preparation is a continuous cycle without a beginning or end. Through this strategic approach, we are able to respond, restore and safely reconnect our customers' power more quickly and efficiently after every storm. Proactive facility and equipment maintenance strategies are used to help prevent outages before they occur and promote safe, fast restoration when they do occur.
This year Entergy's Louisiana utilities will invest approximately $95 million on transmission and distribution reliability improvement projects, including approximately 6,200 circuit miles of tree trimming and proactive line inspections using infrared technology to identify and prevent potential problems well before a storm threatens.
The company also is leveraging advanced technology in the field to help improve reliability year-round. "Alternate Load Transfer schemes use advanced detection equipment to quickly isolate the location of a fault on a feeder line and transfer customers to an alternate feed," said Dennis Dawsey, vice president of transmission and distribution operations for Entergy's Louisiana utilities. "As a result, the impact to customers is a 'blink,' rather than a sustained outage. Ten ALT schemes already have been installed, and 10 more installations are planned by year end."
Entergy also has bolstered the tools that allow customers to stay informed after a storm. Customers can track outages down to the street level using the company's View Outages feature and can register online at entergy-louisiana.com or by text message to receive text alerts notifying them of outages and power restoration progress. Customers also can visit entergystormcenter.com for safety and preparation information as well as storm updates, photos and videos. Company updates are additionally available via the companies' Twitter account (@EntergyLA).
As important as it is for Entergy and its employees to be ready for hurricanes and other weather events, customers should make their own preparations before a storm hits and know how to stay safe during and after its impact. Detailed information is available at entergystormcenter.com, but some key tips include:
- Learn about evacuation routes and have a destination in mind before you leave.
- Pack important supplies such as nonperishable food, a multi-day supply of any necessary medications and supplies for small children and pets.
- Stock up on batteries and have a hand-cranked radio and flashlight available.
- If a storm does hit, stay away from downed power lines. Never use a generator indoors.
"Getting your power back on quickly after a storm is our focus. But there's one thing more important than that – and it's doing our job safely," said Mohl. "We encourage customers to make safety before, during and after a storm their first priority, too."