With the existing potential for bad weather across the Capital Region on Monday, the National Grid crew themselves are already out and prepared to fix power outages as they will occur except now, the coronavirus has changed almost everything about how things are done.
Patrick Stella, Communications Manager, says that the National Grid actually has local crews and contractors ready on standby to restore certain outages with a pandemic plan partnered with social distancing.
The National Grid and its capabilities
According to Patrick Stella, "Sometimes our crews have to be in closer proximity due to the work they're doing. We do have masks available for them so we're doing everything that we can do," continuing his statement by saying beyond the field crews, the regional control folks are already being sequestered and have been sequestered for several weeks now.
"They've been sequestered for several weeks, so they're actually living in the control centers."
The company reportedly has about 20 control centers scattered across New York. The Control center personnel dispatch crews are in charge of making sure that the power lines they are fixing are not live.
Ever since the company's pandemic plan started to take effect, they have technically been working 12-hour shifts and are already staying on-site for a 30 day period in order to stay healthy. Stella assured that they have trailers, beds, washers, dryers, and even a makeshift gym. Stella admitted that the workers rely on FaceTime and Zoom to keep connected with their families.
Although the National Grid is doing their part, it would be really helpful if the citizens decide to contribute as well. It might not even take much, just a few pointers
How to help during this time of need
Stay away from live wires.
Alert National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 if you spot a downed power line or experience a power shortage.
If you're stuck, try to stretch your food supply.
If you are using a general, it is necessary to pull the main circuit breaker in your house to avoid risk of electrocution for both your family and the National Grid crew.
To better contact the National Grid, you can call or report online, and they actually have a fairly new feature for you to text an outage in.
The growing pandemic
Although the whole world is worried about the coronavirus getting out of hand, there are still certain existing problems which everyone should be aware of and these are the forces of Mother Nature.
Bad weather may often lead to floods, storms, or just strong wind that could possibly knock you out of power. The National Grid has already made a plan to help citizens with their power supply in this time of the pandemic.
The best thing citizens can do is to do their part by staying indoors and reporting whatever they see to the National Grid.