- Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (BELCO) today advised that the Company is preparing for the impending impact of Hurricane Fiona.
BELCO’s Crisis Management Team has been activated and are meeting regularly to monitor the approach of the storm, to execute pre-storm checklists and ensure supplies are stored at various locations around the island.
If Bermuda is impacted by a storm which results in power outages, restoration crews start work as soon as it is 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.
There are several actions the public can take to ensure their safety and assist BELCO crews so they can carry out restoration work safely and efficiently. These include:
– 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 belco.bm and accessing the outage map. Additionally, customers can like/follow BELCO on Facebook ad Twitter (@BELCOBermuda) and/or bookmark BELCO’s website (belco.bm) for storm-related updates as well.
– 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 President Wayne Caines said: “While Bermuda was spared any serious impact from Hurricane Earl, we are expecting more damaging winds and heavy rains when Hurricane Fiona passes close to the island later this week. We are taking this storm seriously and our crews are in full preparation mode. 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 as we await the impact of Hurricane Fiona.”
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