With wild weather already causing swathes of damage across the network which covers 95% of NSW and parts of Southern Queensland, and more predicted with the current La Nina weather event, Essential Energy is appealing for households and businesses to be prepared. Operations Manager Macquarie Jamie Warren said it’s important that customers are prepared in case they lose power during an extreme weather event this summer.
“Over the next few months, we’re expecting more frequent and extreme weather events that usually lead to power outages. In the last few weeks, we’ve already seen trees and even water tanks being blown into power lines along with lightning strikes on the network.”
Specific power-related storm and bushfire safety advice has been updated on Essential Energy’s website.
“Our strongest message for getting through power outages is to prepare. Think about how a power outage will affect you and your family and put together a plan so that if the lights do go out you know what to do,” Jamie said.
• Know where your Neighbourhood Safer Place is (see https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/neighbourhood-safer-places).
• Ensure at least 24 hours of drinking water is available for all household members.
• Purchase a battery powered AM/FM radio and change the batteries regularly so you can receive news and emergency broadcasts.
• Keep a torch and new batteries handy.
• Test any backup water pumps and generators well before you need them.
• Ensure that you know how to bypass or manually operate electric gates, electric locks and garage doors on your property. You may wish to turn off the power and practice when the weather is cool.
• Ensure your electricity retailer has your current mobile number so they can contact you by SMS.
• Stay away from fallen powerlines, and report them immediately to 13 20 80.
“During a storm or severe weather, customers should also unplug electronic equipment like televisions and computers and stay indoors. If possible, listen to local emergency radio stations and check social media for updates. Leave one light on so that you know when the power is back on,” Jamie added.
“Always assume fallen powerlines or any objects in contact with them are live and stay at least eight metres away. We know that despite our best efforts, the forces of nature sometimes surprise us with events that interrupt power supply, especially during the summer.”