Alabama Power says it is prepared for the possibility of hurricanes affecting our state this year and is urging customers to do the same.
June 1 marks the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through the end of November. Hurricane experts have predicted another “more active than normal” season this year, although it’s not expected to be as active as last year when a record-high 30 named storms formed in the Atlantic basin. Of those 30 storms, 13 became hurricanes, two of which – Sally and Zeta, caused hundreds of thousands of power outages across Alabama.
Alabama Power says its Storm Team is ready to respond if needed.
“In our storm season preparation, we always plan for the worst-case scenarios, but hope for the best,” said Corey Sweeney, Power Delivery Storm Center Operations manager for Alabama Power. “Our team is ready to respond safely and quickly should a hurricane affect our state.”
Alabama Power says its system is better prepared for severe weather than ever. The company says it has installed new smart grid technology in recent months that has reduced outages and outage times for customers. For example, during the tornado outbreaks on March 17 and 25, Alabama Power’s advanced electric grid and power systems reduced the number of affected customers by 58%, saving 12.4 million customer minutes of interruption during these severe weather events.
“We design our system using the latest technology so that our customers can receive reliable service,” said Alabama Power spokesperson Dennis Washington. “However, when severe weather does occur, we are prepared to safely restore power as quickly as possible.”
The company says it has also improved outage communications. Customers can now sign up for outage alerts, report outages from their smartphone and see outage updates instantly on the company’s new online outage map.
“We are committed to providing reliable service and timely, accurate communication to our customers,” said Jonathan Porter, Alabama Power senior vice president of Customer Operations. “We understand our customers look to us to restore service as quickly and safely as possible when severe weather strikes. These tools allow customers to track restoration progress through their preferred method of communication.”
If you don’t already have your hurricane plan in place, here are some questions to answer in making sure you and your family are ready for the season:
As you prepare or update your plan, tailor it to your daily needs and responsibilities. Discuss how people in your network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets or other challenges, such as operating medical equipment. Some additional factors to consider when developing your plan:
Identify in advance a friend or relative who doesn’t live in an evacuation zone who can provide shelter for you and your family in case you have to leave home.
Emergency managers want you to know how to keep you and your family safe from these deadly storms.
For more information about how to be prepared for storms, in any season, visit Alabama Power’s Storm Center at alabamapower.com/storm.