As Hurricane Irma approaches Georgia, Georgia Power is prepared to respond with approximately 3,400 personnel from the company, other Southern Company operating companies and assisting utilities identified and ready to restore power as quickly and safely as possible following the storm. All of Georgia Power's resources are being held and dedicated to storm restoration efforts in the state following Hurricane Irma.
Georgia Power expects widespread, extensive damage due to high winds, heavy rain and fallen trees as a result of Hurricane Irma and customers are encouraged to prepare now. Once the storm leaves affected areas, the company must wait until conditions are safe for damage assessment teams to enter the field and begin the restoration process, followed by repair crews, which could take several days, if not weeks, depending on the amount of damage and safe access to the area. As weather conditions improve, restoration efforts will accelerate, but it could take an extended period of time for all customers to be restored.
When severe weather strikes, Georgia Power has access to additional resources available as part of the Southern Company system, which includes multiple electric and gas companies serving more than 9 million customers nationwide. Additionally, Georgia Power is part of a national mutual assistance network consisting of dozens of utilities from around the country, and the company is able to tap into reinforcements when needed to restore power to Georgia customers following a storm. While the company has contacted and requested aid through the mutual assistance network, resources have been assigned to harder-hit areas in Florida first before traveling to Georgia.
To help its employees focus on safely restoring power for customers and relieve concerns about their own families, Georgia Power has also activated its Family Services volunteers, who are preparing to deploy to areas impacted by Hurricane Irma in anticipation of employee assistance requests. Family Services is supported by employee volunteers who are not involved with storm restoration.
Prepare Before the Storm
The company also urges customers to complete their preparations before the weather deteriorates. Tips from Georgia Power to prepare before the storm:
- Note the location of power lines and poles. This makes it easier to know where downed power lines may be possible following the storm. Also, ensure that curbsides and yards are clear to allow quick repair and restoration following the storm.
- Protect electronics and appliances. Turn off air conditioners since power surges can overload them, unplug all electronics such as DVD players, televisions and computers, and move any appliances or electronics that may be located in flood-prone areas of your home.
- Secure any outdoor items that could be moved by high winds and cause damage. Move patio furniture inside where possible.
- Charge all necessary electronics, including cell phones and tablets, so you can stay connected even if the power is out. Know how to adjust the settings on mobile devices to maximize battery life and use power banks if available.
- Build or check your emergency supply kit. Consider providing an additional emergency supply kit for elderly family members or friends who may not have one.
Tools You Can Use
- Outage Alerts - Subscribe to the free Georgia Power Outage Alert service to receive personalized notifications and updates via text message.
- Outage & Storm Center - Available at www.georgiapower.com/storm, customers can visit this site to sign up for Outage Alerts, report and check the status of outages, and access useful safety tips and information. Customers can report and check the status of an outage 24 hours a day by contacting Georgia Power at 888-891-0938.
- Outage Map - Housed within the Outage & Storm Center, Georgia Power's interactive Outage Map provides near real-time information, allowing users to see where outages are occurring across the state and track estimated restoration times.
- Georgia Power Mobile App - Download the Georgia Power mobile app for Apple and Android devices to access storm and outage information on the go.
- @GeorgiaPower on Twitter - Follow @GeorgiaPower on Twitter for storm tips, outage updates, customer service and more.
Georgia Power Power Plants
Georgia Power's electric generating plants are also prepared for Hurricane Irma. Power plants, including coal, natural gas and nuclear plants, are built to be robust and highly secure and incorporate multiple layers of protection including structural strength, highly trained operators and security forces, and proven emergency plans. Safety systems at U.S. nuclear plants, including Georgia's Plants Vogtle and Hatch, are designed to withstand significant hazard events, including hurricane force winds and flooding. Read more here.
About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America's premier energy company. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.5 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Georgia Power focuses on delivering world-class service to its customers every day and the company is consistently recognized by J.D. Power and Associates as an industry leader in customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).