HOUSTON – September 10, 2008 – CenterPoint Energy urges customers to have their own emergency plan ready to implement should Hurricane Ike strike, particularly if customers depend on electricity for life-sustaining equipment. Customers need to be prepared to be without power for two weeks or possibly longer depending on the severity of the storm.
In addition to the company’s own field personnel, the company has linemen and tree trimmers from around the country ready to assess damage, clear trees and begin power restoration once the storm passes. CenterPoint Energy is a member of a mutual assistance program with other utility companies that can provide help in an emergency.
In addition to having employees prepared, CenterPoint Energy has sufficient fuel and supplies in inventory to begin restoration efforts. The company has also made arrangements with its vendors and distributors for its post-storm needs.
In the first few days after a hurricane or major storm, CenterPoint Energy will assess the damage and then will work around the clock until everyone’s power is restored. The company’s first priority in restoring service is to key facilities vital to safety, health and welfare, such as hospitals, water treatment plants and public service facilities. Then, it repairs those major lines and circuits that will restore power to the greatest number of customers in the shortest amount of time.
While natural gas lines are buried underground and are not normally affected by strong winds, high water or other abnormal weather conditions, the company is fully prepared to respond to any emergency situation that might arise due to Hurricane Ike.
Pre-storm safety tips:
- Unplug sensitive electrical appliances, such as your computer
- Turn off circuit breaker
- Do not turn off your natural gas at the meter. The gas meter should be left on to maintain proper pressure in the gas piping within the house and to prevent water from entering the lines should flooding occur.
- If you wish to discontinue gas service, turn the gas off at each appliance. Later, to restore gas service to an appliance, it is only necessary to follow the written instructions located on the appliance for relighting. If you are unable to locate instructions, call a qualified plumber.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and sales, interstate pipelines and field services operations. The company serves nearly five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Assets total approximately $18 billion. With more than 8,600 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 130 years. For more information, visit the Web site at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.