Houston – June 1, 2020 – Hurricane season begins June 1, and CenterPoint Energy encourages customers to have an emergency plan, particularly if they depend on electricity for life-sustaining equipment. As a part of CenterPoint Energy's commitment to restore services as quickly and safely as possible following a severe weather event, the company has an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). CenterPoint Energy's employees, across all areas, are called upon to support the company's EOP.
"Hurricanes are unpredictable, which makes it hard to anticipate the impact to our electric system," said Randy Pryor, vice president of Distribution Operations for CenterPoint Energy. "Based on the severity of the event, customers should be prepared for outages and have resources to be without power for at least two weeks or possibly longer."
CenterPoint Energy recommends that customers be prepared to be without service according to the following guidelines:
|CATEGORY 1 ||winds 74-95 mph ||7 to 10 days|
|CATEGORY 2||winds 96-110 mph ||2 to 3 weeks|
|CATEGORY 3||winds 111-130 mph ||3 to 5 weeks|
|CATEGORY 4||winds 131-155 mph ||4 to 6 weeks|
|CATEGORY 5||winds 156 mph and up ||6 to 8 weeks|
*Individual restoration times will vary.
In response to COVID-19, CenterPoint Energy implemented its Pandemic Preparedness Plan to help ensure safe, reliable delivery of energy and services to homes and businesses. In the event of a hurricane, the company will continue to take the necessary steps to protect the safety and well-being of customers, employees, contractors and communities.
"We are dedicated to restoring our electrical transmission and distribution system safely and effectively, while also taking the necessary safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are asking customers to respect social distancing guidelines and not approach working employees and contractors," added Pryor.
CenterPoint Energy has implemented additional measures to protect the safety and health of its customers, employees and contractors. These safety measures include:
- Equipping employees with hand sanitizer in their vehicles as well as latex gloves – in addition to standard protective equipment;
- Directing field employees to attempt to resolve service issues without entering homes or businesses;
- Following social distancing guidelines and wearing protective equipment if entering businesses to provide service;
- Implementing a telework approach for employees who can perform their job responsibilities from home or a remote location;
- Increasing cleaning and disinfecting frequency of facilities and vehicles;
- Leveraging technology to minimize face-to-face contact and meetings;
- Emphasizing good hygiene, including washing and sanitizing hands;
- Requiring employees to stay home if they are feeling sick;
- Suspending international air travel and non-essential domestic air travel; and
- Minimizing contact with visitors and others at company facilities.
For the latest information on power outages:
No two storms are alike and, as was the case with Hurricane Harvey, flooding can have a significant impact on natural gas operations. For information on natural gas safety, electric safety and other resources, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/StormCenter.