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CL&P preparing for 2013 hurricane season

Connecticut Light and Power has begun preparing for the 2013 hurricane season.

Bill Quinlan, CL&P’s senior vice president of emergency preparedness, said, “We learned a lot from Superstorm Sandy that will help us prepare for future hurricanes, but no utility can stop the wrath of Mother Nature, so we also encourage our customers to prepare in advance for the hurricane season.”

This year, CL&P will spend tens of millions of dollars on its vegetation management program, trimming trees along 4,420 miles of its distribution system and removing trees that pose a threat to the system. The company said it is also upgrading existing information technology systems and developing new technology to make its storm response more efficient, including a tool for assessing damage to the system and reporting materials needed for repairs and a centralized resource tracking system.

The company performs a comprehensive review every month of its 19 storm rooms across the state, ensuring that the equipment and technology for storm response is in place, and regularly verifies that employees have up-to-date training and are prepared to respond, if needed.

Throughout hurricane season, CL&P will be providing tips on how to prepare for hurricanes and other emergencies on social media — @CTLightandPower on Twitter using #PrepTip and at facebook.com/ctlightandpower. The company will also share information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross that will help customers prepare for and respond to emergencies.

The company also encourages customers to prepare by ensuring their families or businesses have an emergency plan in place, and keeping a storm kit stocked with essential supplies. For an overview of what to include in a kit, check out CL&P’s “Shopping for A Storm Kit” video on YouTube at youtu.be/X8Y_M4SO5oE.

Customers who depend on electricity for critical medical needs are urged to contact CL&P at 800-791-3369 so they can be enrolled in a voluntary notification program intended to help them better prepare for scheduled outages or the potential for outages from severe weather. CL&P said “it is critical that customers who rely on electricity for medical needs establish a backup plan, such as a generator system, as restoration priority is given only to locations critical to public safety and well-being, such as police and fire stations, hospitals, water and sewage treatment plants and emergency shelters.”

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