COLUMBIA, SC – September 2, 2008 – South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. has begun preparations for potential storm damage due to the possibility of Hurricane Hanna impacting its service territory later this week. The company is securing emergency provisions and readying equipment and supplies. SCE&G also has been in contact with neighboring utilities to request storm restoration support if the hurricane strikes the company’s service territory.
While the path of the hurricane is still unclear, SCE&G offers the following tips to prepare for the worst:
• Stay alert to storm advisories and evacuate if told to do so.
• Map out your route using roads specified by local and/or state authorities.
• If the storm is imminent, turn off and unplug stereos, televisions, computers and other appliances.
• Check your yard for loose materials that could be blown around by strong hurricane winds. Place all lawn furniture, hoses, garden ornaments, etc., inside your house or garage. These loose items could damage your meter.
• To report an outage, call 1-888-333-4465. Customers are reminded that they can now report outages on electronic mobile devices at sceg.com/mobile or at the storm Web site at sceg.com/storm.
• After the storm, stay away from and do not touch downed power lines. Keep others away from downed lines as well. Contact SCE&G at 1-888-333-4465 immediately.
• Do not touch tree limbs or other objects touching a power line. Never try to remove a tree limb or any object that is in contact with a power line. Contact SCE&G at 1-888-333-4465 immediately.
• Don’t open refrigerators/freezers during an outage unless absolutely necessary. Repeated openings cause cold air to escape and food to thaw more quickly.
• Use extreme caution when operating portable generators, paying close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Should the power go out while cooking, turn the stove off and remove any cookware from the cooking surface and oven.
When threatening weather approaches, it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit stocked and ready to use. SCE&G recommends including the following items in the kit:
• A battery-powered radio.
• Flashlights and batteries for everyone in the family.
• A battery-operated lantern and extra fresh batteries.
• A first-aid kit.
• Disposable plates and utensils.
• A non-electric can opener.
• Extra blankets, bottled water and an adequate supply of non-perishable food.
• A corded telephone (cordless phones won’t work if the power is out).
• A list of emergency phone numbers including SCE&G’s customer service line at 1-888-333-4465 to report an outage.
Natural gas customers should take the following precautions before the storm arrives:
• It is NOT necessary to turn off your natural gas supply at the meter during a hurricane, whether you evacuate or not. That valve should be turned off by utility or emergency personnel only. Natural gas is distributed through underground pipelines, so gas service is not normally interrupted in even the most severe weather.
• If you are evacuating and are in danger of flooding, turn off individual gas appliances at the appliance’s valve. Familiarize yourself with the location of the supply valve for each natural gas appliance. Most supply valves are installed within six (6) feet of each natural gas appliance. These valves typically turn in one direction and require only one-quarter of a turn to completely close the valve.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility that provides natural gas service to approximately 305,000 customers in 38 counties in South Carolina. The company also is engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 646,000 customers in 24 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of the state.