Washington, D.C. (August 26, 2021) — One year ago, Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana. Today, as Hurricane Ida continues to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) urges residents in the path of the storm to monitor forecasts and to prepare now to ensure that they have an emergency plan and a fully stocked outage kit ready and available before this new storm hits.
“Hurricane Ida is forecast to make landfall as a major hurricane this weekend, and electric companies in the storm’s path have activated their emergency response plans and are pre-staging crews and equipment to ensure that they are ready to restore power to customers as quickly as possible once it is safe to do so,” said EEI Vice President of Security & Preparedness Scott Aaronson. “We urge customers to take this storm seriously and to prepare now.”
“Hurricane Ida has the potential to strengthen significantly before it makes landfall on Sunday,” added Aaronson. “We know how important electricity is, and our entire industry stands ready to support impacted companies and the power restoration mission.”
The CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) is coordinating closely with government partners at the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and National Security Council (NSC) to support the ongoing preparation and staging activities, as well as the movement of mutual assistance crews.
Earlier this afternoon, the ESCC held a coordination call with senior leadership from DOE, DHS, and the NSC to discuss the preparations for Ida and to ensure that industry and government efforts are aligned.
“It is important to remember that COVID-19 creates additional challenges for storm response and emergency power restoration,” said Aaronson. "Please remember to practice social distancing for your safety and for the safety of crews in the field."
Early in the pandemic, EEI and its member companies worked through the ESCC to develop a resource guide to ensure that processes and procedures are in place to keep our workforce healthy and safe while we work to maintain continuity of operations. Customers are asked to be patient, as these additional safety steps may slow some restoration tasks.
Here are ways customers and communities can prepare for Hurricane Ida:
- Get your emergency outage kits stocked and ready. Be sure to include masks or face coverings.
- Keep your cell phones and other battery-powered devices charged and available.
- Have a hard copy of emergency contact information available.
- Secure loose branches and other objects that could become dangerous flying debris in high winds.
- Heed all evacuation warnings, and know all evacuation routes. If you or anyone you know has special needs in case of evacuation, contact your local emergency management office. Find the phone number at http://www.fema.gov/.
- Be sure to include your pets in your evacuation plan. Not all evacuation shelters and hotels accept pets, so you may need to identify a pet-friendly hotel along your evacuation route.
- Register your cell phone number with your local electric company, and make sure your contact information is current so you can receive any status or safety updates the company might put out during an emergency. Be sure to follow your electric company on social media for real-time updates.
- Avoid standing water, as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Don’t walk or drive through flood water. Just 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Read EEI’s hurricane and flood safety tips and learn how to prepare for power outages.