Contact: Public Affairs:
May 25, 2005 - The 2005 hurricane season gets underway in June and some forecasts say it could be as active as last season, when 15 storms developed in the Atlantic. Should a hurricane strike the South Carolina coast, SCE&G crews are fully prepared to respond quickly and effectively.
Each year SCE&G trains a core group of employees to perform specialized storm duties should a hurricane or other severe storm hit somewhere in the company’s service area. Approximately 1,500 SCE&G employees have been trained in preparation for the current storm season.
"We've identified employees with specific skills needed during a major restoration effort and we've placed those employees in critical storm response positions," said Charles White, SCE&G’s system coordinator for storms and emergencies. "We've also developed a strong overall volunteer base that would respond in the event of a major storm. Of course, if the severity of the storm warranted, we would use every employee available as part of the recovery effort."
In 2004, SCE&G implemented its highest emergency classification – Storm Condition 1 – as Hurricane Gaston swept along the South Carolina coast. In declaring this emergency classification, SCE&G placed materials, equipment and personnel in key staging areas so they could begin restoration efforts immediately following the storm. The company also stepped up customer and employee communication efforts and increased staffing in its customer service centers.
"We’ve learned the value of developing staging areas for crews and equipment, as well as working closely with local, state and federal agencies," White said. "Whether it’s a hurricane, a tornado or a thunderstorm, we're ready to respond."
As SCE&G continues its preparations for hurricane season, the company also offers its customers the following safety tips to assist with their own preparations:
- Stay alert to storm advisories and evacuate if told to do so.
- Map out your route using roads specified by local and/or state authorities.
- Have flashlights and fresh batteries on hand.
- Turn off and unplug stereos, televisions, computers and other appliances when a storm is imminent.
- If you see a downed power line, do not touch it. Contact your local SCE&G office immediately.
- Never try to remove a tree limb or any object that is in contact with a power line. Call SCE&G immediately for help.
- Don’t open refrigerators or freezers during an outage unless absolutely necessary. Repeated openings cause the cold air to escape and food to thaw more quickly.
SCE&G serves electricity to approximately 585,000 customers in 24 counties in central, southern and southwestern South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 282,000 customers in 34 counties in the state.
For additional information, visit SCE&G's Web site at www.sceg.com or call
888-333-4465 or your visit local SCE&G office.