After a Storm
Storms Leave Quite a Mess Behind
- Avoid downed wires, including wires tangled in trees or bushes. Always assume that wires are energized. Call PSEG Long Island at 1-800-490-0075 immediately to report a downed wire. Keep everyone else at least 300 feet away, too.
- Avoid parking near downed wires, if possible. Do not drive over them, either, because they can get tangled easily in your vehicle.
- Use extreme caution if you're using a generator during a power outage. Keep generators outside, follow the manufacturer's instructions, and never connect a generator to your home's electrical system.
- Use battery-operated lights and flashlights rather than candles, which are a fire hazard.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed when the power goes out. Unopened refrigerators keep food cold and safe for a few hours.
- Half-full freezers hold food safely for up to 24 hours; full freezers preserve food between 36 and 48 hours.
- Extend food storage by packing milk, dairy products, meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and other foods in a cooler surrounded by ice.
- To determine if the food in your freezer has thawed and re-frozen, store an ice cube in a plastic bag before the power goes out. If the cube melts from its original shape, you'll know power was off for an extended time and your frozen food isn't safe.
Emergency Response Resources
Prioritizing Power Restoration
When we determine that it is safe to start service restoration, our crews work around-the-clock to restore your power. Our goal? To restore power safely to the greatest number of customers in the shortest amount of time.
1. High-Voltage Transmission and Substations
Since transmission lines and substations supply power to neighborhoods, we repair them first.
2. Critical and Vital Public Services
Next, we restore power to critical public services including hospitals and nursing homes, police and fire facilities, jails, water pumping stations, communication organizations (TV, radio, and telephone), customers who depend on lifesaving equipment, and evacuation centers.
3. Greatest Number of Customers
Next, we prioritize repairs that restore power to a greater number of customers first. We'll make repairs that restore power to 1,000 customers before a repair that would return electricity to 100 customers.
4. Individual Homes and Businesses
We continue to work 24/7 to restore power to smaller neighborhoods and individual homes or businesses until the power's back for everyone.
Large storms, like hurricanes, often impact the tristate region and beyond, which increases the challenge of restoring power. Affected neighboring communities won't have the resources to spare, so we contract with other utility companies who may need to travel from great distances to help.
Other challenges that contribute to complex restoration include:
- Limited access to rear property poles
- Debris from trees, vegetation, and objects that must be cleared before power restoration can start
- Equipment that must be brought in manually
- De-energizing areas so crews can make repairs safely
- Building in breaks for crews working 16-hour shifts
Lessons Learned for Future Emergency Responses
We constantly strive to improve the resiliency of the electric system on Long Island and on the Rockaway Peninsula to anticipate, prevent, and withstand interruptions in electric service. We've created a resource of best practices and strategies to respond more effectively to disasters.