Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (BELCO) today advised that preparations are being made for any Impacts that Tropical Strom Franklin may bring and reminds residents to remain prepared as we approach the most active part of hurricane season.
The most important action residents can take to prepare for a storm is to make sure trees on their property are clear of power lines. Trees and foliage hitting power lines during storms is the reason for most outages and is entirely preventable.
It is important to note that BELCO does not offer a tree trimming service. Ensuring that trees on private property remain 10 feet away from power lines is the sole responsibility of property owners.
BELCO works to ensure that trees are cut back near main line circuits and some branch lines. This proactive approach has prevented outages on main line circuits since the programme launched in 2011.
Should property owners wish to trim their trees, it is critically important to remember that a power line’s electricity must be disconnected before trimming trees next to it. To schedule a temporary disconnection for tree trimming safety, property owners can call BELCO at 295-5111 or email email@example.com.
As a reminder, the public can take the following actions to ensure their safety and allow BELCO crews to carry out any required restoration work safely and efficiently:
– Safety first! Always assume a downed wire is live. Never approach a downed wire, don’t try to move it or touch it.
– Reporting outages: customers with AMI meters will already be logged as having an outage. Other customers are asked not to call to report an outage until BELCO has asked you to do so.
– On the restoration of power, it is prudent to use lights only and have voltages checked by qualified personnel before plugging-in sensitive and expensive equipment.
– Remember, before the onset of high winds, ensure you unplug any appliances, electronics, or other sensitive equipment. While plug-in surge protectors protect against common, small surges, unplugging is the safest bet for lightning surges that may occur during a storm.
– Keep out of the way of BELCO crews as they work.
– Customers can always check on outages and restoration efforts in their area by visiting www.belco.bm and accessing the outage map.
– If you are a medical priority customer, please speak to your doctor now about a plan in the case of a power outage from a storm. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee electricity for the duration of the storm and you may need to make alternative arrangements.
BELCO staff began preparations for hurricane season months before the threat of a storm with the Crisis Management Team meeting to ensure early planning and preparations are completed, supplies are ordered, and pre-storm checklists reviewed.
Once impact by a hurricane is confirmed, assets, which include new poles, transformers and other critical supplies are placed in strategic locations ahead of the storm so they can be deployed quickly to needed locations and not be impeded by any obstacles on the island’s roads.
If Bermuda is impacted by a storm which results in power outages, restoration crews start work as soon as it is declared safe to do so and continue until every customer has had power restored. Power is restored according to a specific plan. Main line circuits must be restored first so that branch lines can then be repaired in order for power to be restored to homes. If a customer has lost power, the main and branch lines must be repaired and energised before damage to a specific household can be fixed or else there will be no power feeding into the lines that supply that home. It is important to note that BELCO never intentionally shuts off power to any customers.
BELCO President Wayne Caines said: “While this season has started off relatively quietly, meteorologists maintain their prediction for an average storm season this year which is between 12 and 17 storms and five to nine of those storms potentially becoming major hurricanes. As always, BELCO staff are well prepared for whatever may come our way this season. During the aftermath of a hurricane, BELCO staff certainly appreciate the patience and understanding of the public as we work to get everyone’s power restored as quickly and safely as possible. I encourage the public to review their own hurricane safety plans as well as tips and advice on the BELCO website to keep their family and property safe should we be impacted by a storm this season.”
Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful, or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites, or repeats previous comments will be removed.
User comments posted on this website are solely the views and opinions of the comment writer and are not a representation of or reflection of the opinions of TNN or its staff.
TNN reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments.
TNN accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for the comments made by users.