How LIPA Prepares
Currently we restore electric service faster than any other utility in the state. The total annual power outage time for Long Island customers has been the lowest among New York State utilities using overhead power lines for 10 of the past 12 years.
- Year-Long Effort
- Tracking A Major Storm
- One Week – 96 Hours Prior to Major Storm
- Preventing Power Outages
- If Your Power is Out
Storm preparation is a year-long, ongoing effort. To ensure we’re prepared for any emergency, whenever it might occur, we:
- Continually train all personnel in emergency/storm response procedures.
- Conduct emergency/storm response drills throughout the year.
- Educate customers on storm preparedness, including the different methods available to stay connected with LIPA during and after a storm.
For major storms headed in our direction, preparations start several days in advance. We put our employees, equipment vendors and neighboring utilities on alert to ensure that enough manpower and inventory is available to handle storm-related repairs and ensure your safety.
Long before a major storm sweeps across Long Island, our meteorologists are busy tracking its progress. To collect and interpret the vast quantity of information needed to forecast storm movement, we contract with the independent research firms and the National Weather Service.
By using a sophisticated system of satellite photos and computer data, our weather forecasters are able to closely follow the progress of hurricanes and other major storms.
We have installed a Lightning Detection Network. This system allows our operators to scan lightning activity on the entire East Coast, or zoom in on Long Island.
Large storms often impact the tri-state region:
- Large storms, such as hurricanes, can impact the entire east coast of the US – and beyond making the request for help from off-island resources more challenging.
- Neighboring utilities often cannot release crews – they are looking for help, too
- Assistance must travel long distances in bucket trucks. In Tropical Storm Irene, crews from as far away as Texas and Illinois participated in restoration.
- Senior management assess potential damage based on weather monitoring. Multiple weather models to gauge accuracy of forecast
- Equipment and manpower assessments begin
- Depending on severity of storm, employee vacations are cancelled
- Enhanced communications efforts begin
- Logistics personnel arrange for movement of materials and manpower. This involves everything from arranging for sleeping quarters to laundry services – from obtaining poles to laptops
- Senior staff meetings and conference calls continue – assessing possible scenarios and deployment of resources
- Checklists, phone numbers contacts are reviewed. E-mail and text communication lines are established with key municipal contact
Compared to other NYS overhead utilities, the LIPA Transmission and Distribution system consistently scores high in critical metrics related to service reliability.
Our goal is to further reduce the number and length of outages through an aggressive service improvement and maintenance plan.
- Line Clearance: Line Clearance – Keeping tree limbs away from electric wires is our most effective method of reducing outages. We trim trees along 2,000 miles of lines annually. We also encourage the planting of shorter, “wire-friendly” trees near power lines. Learn about our Tree Trimming Program
- Equipment Improvements: We’re upgrading lightning arresters, redoing wire splices on our poles using new equipment, and installing guards to prevent animals from contacting high-voltage connections.
- Radio-Controlled Switches: These remote controlled switches allow us to isolate electric line problems without dispatching a field crew, enabling our operators to restore service faster.
- Reconductoring Wire: We’re replacing old wire with new wire that has a resistant plastic covering for use in heavily wooded areas.
- Infrared Scanning: Through helicopter and vehicle surveys, we’re using infrared equipment to detect potential trouble spots before they can cause power outages. Approximately 6,000 miles of line are surveyed annually.
Reporting Your Outage
- Call 800-490-0075
- This automatically creates a “job” in the computer system for restoring service
- Customers can request a call-back for more information if no restoration time is currently available
- The call-back may take 24-36 hours as outages are assessed and prioritized
- Ways to Report an Outage
Customer service and dependability is what LIPA is all about. That’s why we’ve installed our “21st Century” automated outage reporting system. In the event of a severe storm this system can handle over 100,000 calls per hour.
To minimize some of the inconvenience power outages cause, we’ve developed a computer program that allows LIPA to provide information on approximately how long it will take to restore power to your home. Outages can be reported quickly through our automated system, accessing the address of the outage by using your telephone number. Make sure the phone number on your account is correct for your address. It is essential for accurate reporting.