Current forecasts call for rain and thunderstorms starting Monday morning, with gusty winds picking up during the day that could reach 65 mph or higher — strong enough to bring trees and limbs down on power lines. UI reminds customers to avoid downed lines and to prepare for the possibility of service interruptions, potentially lasting a day or more.
UI prepares for storms on an ongoing basis and is continuing its essential work to maintain safe and reliable service during the coronavirus pandemic. UI line workers, contractors and other essential personnel are working under special protocols designed to separate and protect them. Customers are asked not to approach them when they are working, and to always maintain a safe social distance.
Due to the pandemic, UI has stepped up inspections and maintenance of electrical circuits that serve hospitals and other critical facilities in its territory.
The company offers the following tips to help customers prepare and stay safe.
Before a Storm:
- Sign up for Outage Alerts. Text “REG” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI) to receive free text alerts if you lose service, and for restoration updates. Or, visit uinet.com for additional alert options.
- Keep long-lasting LED flashlights and lanterns on hand, along with a battery-operated radio, fresh batteries, drinking water, non-perishable foods and prescription medications.
- Fully charge mobile devices and store emergency contacts in memory.
- Fuel your vehicles and fill fuel tanks for generators.
Medical and Life Support Customers:
- Customers who rely on life-saving medical equipment should have a plan in case of a sudden or extended loss of service. UI medical and life-support customers should register in advance to ensure the company is aware of their needs. Call UI at 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI).
- Do not use a generator that plugs into your home’s electrical system unless it was installed by a licensed electrician via a transfer switch. Improperly connected generators can back-feed electricity into the outside grid and pose a danger to the public and to crews working to restore service.
- Carefully read and observe the instructions in your generator’s operating manual.
- Properly ground all portable generators.
- Never run a generator indoors, in an open garage, or near a window.
- Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it’s running.
Report an Outage:
- To report an outage, visit uinet.com or call 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI). Customers can also report outages using UI’s new mobile app, available on the Apple Store and Google Play. Or, they can report outages via UI’s mobile alerts system: text “OUT” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI). Registration is required.
For additional storm readiness and safety information:
- Visit UI online at uinet.com.
- Find UI on facebook.com/unitedilluminating.
- Follow @UnitedIllum on Twitter.
Additional storm relief resources can be found by calling Connecticut’s InfoLine at 2-1-1, or by visiting www.211ct.org.