Friday, May 22, 2020

PPL Electric Utilities Ready For Predicted Busy Hurricane Season; Customers Should Be Ready As Well

On May 22, PPL Electric Utilities said weather scientists are predicting a more active than average hurricane season this year and PPL's grid and workforce will be ready if any of those storms affect central and eastern Pennsylvania.
Homeowners and businesses should be ready as well and PPL’s advice is to always be prepared for severe weather, plan ahead, and know your storm safety.
On May 21, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted the likelihood of 13-19 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) this season, which officially runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. 
Active weather already started with Tropical Storm Arthur forming off the southeastern U.S. coast earlier this week. 
The Weather Channel in April predicted 18 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes.
“The approaching warmer weather not only ushers in hurricane season, it’s also prime time for thunderstorms and other severe weather. As PPL continues to invest in a stronger, safer and more resilient grid, the impacts of these storms have substantially decreased,” said PPL Electric Utilities President Greg Dudkin.
From 2011 to 2019, PPL was able to reduce the annual number of customer interruptions by 30 percent. That meant about 363,000 fewer customer interruptions in 2019, and 53 million minutes saved.  
Over the past several years, PPL has ranked among the national leaders for reliability performance. Since 2010, it has reduced overall outage frequency on its grid by nearly a third.
Helping drive down outages is PPL’s extensive use of smart grid technology, which reduces the size of the area affected by an outage by instantly rerouting power around trouble spots. 
In addition, gains have been spurred by replacing aging equipment with stronger, more storm-resistant poles and wires, comprehensive tree trimming and clearing, improved lightning protection, expanded use of animal guards, and more.
Strong storms like hurricanes will still produce some power outages, but no matter the circumstances, PPL is prepared to work around the clock to get the lights back on. 
“The pandemic may have us working differently, but no less effectively. Our customers can be confident we’re there for them,” Dudkin said.
Severe weather can bring trees down on poles and wires. Remember to always stay far away from any downed wire and always assume it’s live and carries electricity. If you own a portable generator, be sure to use it safely. 
For more safety information, visit PPL’s Safety webpage..
For more on what PPL is doing to keep the grid reliable, visit PPL’s Grid Reliability webpage.
            Visit the National Weather Service National Hurricane Preparedness webpage for readiness tips.
FEMA Pandemic Hurricane Guidance
To address the challenges of managing disaster response and recovery efforts during this year’s hurricane season and other disasters such as flooding and wildfires, FEMA has released the “COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season” to help emergency managers, public health officials, and the private sector best prepare for new disasters, while continuing to respond to and recover from coronavirus (COVID-19). 
Specifically, the guidance:
-- Outlines funding of Emergency Protective Measures by state;
-- Describes anticipated challenges to disaster operations;
-- Highlights planning considerations based on current challenges;
-- Outlines how FEMA plans to adapt response and recovery operations;
-- Shares understanding of expectations between FEMA and emergency managers; and,
-- Provides guidance, checklists, and resources to support response and recovery planning.
While aspects of FEMA program delivery are different this year, FEMA does not anticipate major changes in program eligibility, timeliness of grant awards, or level of assistance provided under the Individual and Households Program.
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Related Article:
[Posted: May 22, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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