Vaughan — As the one-year anniversary of Ontario’s 2013 Ice Storm approaches, PowerStream is reminding customers and their families to plan ahead and prepare for potential emergencies including major power outages caused by extreme weather events.
As winter weather intensifies, the utility urges its customers to keep their families safe by planning ahead for any situation. Customers are encouraged to know the risks of winter storms and other emergencies that can impact them by staying informed and signing up for Ontario’s emergency alerts. PowerStream is also encouraging customers to take some time to create a family emergency plan, and to build an emergency preparedness kit which will allow self-sufficiency for at least 72 hours.
“Emergencies can occur at any time without warning, and each of us will prepare differently since we all have different abilities and needs such as young children, elderly parents, health concerns or pets,” said Catherine Blair, PowerStream’s Emergency Preparedness Manager. “Regardless of who or where you are, it is crucial to plan ahead in order to keep you and your family safe in the event of an emergency situation.”
PowerStream customers and other concerned residents in Southern Ontario can visit the Emergency Management Ontario homepage for more emergency resources and programs.
For information on what to do before, during, and after a power outage, customers are encouraged to visit www.PowerStream.ca.
PowerStream customers can call 1-877-777-3810 to report power outages, downed power lines and electrical emergencies as well as get information on current outages.
Because climate research experts have predicted more severe weather in the future, PowerStream has taken the necessary steps to be prepared, as a result of its review on how the company responded following the 2013 Ice Storm. This includes the implementation of several operational changes, further developing the company’s Emergency Preparedness Plan and having a Crisis Communication Plan in place.
“Since last year’s storm, we have made significant operational improvements including the enhancement of our forestry management and hardening our distribution system,” said Brian Bentz, PowerStream president and CEO. “We are also working more closely with our municipal and emergency services partners to develop networking channels to ensure we have communication links to all our customers, especially those most vulnerable during lengthy power outages.”
On Dec. 21 and 22 last year, a significant ice storm moved through Southern Ontario causing more than 500,000 customers to lose power, including 92,000 in PowerStream’s service territory. In June of 2014, PowerStream released a comprehensive review on the utility’s response to the 2013 Ice Storm, which included a list of action items to be completed by March 31, 2015.
PowerStream is a community-owned energy company that provides power and related services to more than 370,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the cities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan. Their website is www.PowerStream.ca.
Article courtesy of PowerStream. Photo courtesy of Tony Bellissimo.