COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 29, 2007) – With the official start to hurricane season one week away, South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) wants to let customers know they have more options this year when it comes to reporting or checking the status of a power outage.
In addition to calling Customer Service at 1-888-333-4465, customers can also report an outage and check the status of an outage online at www.sceg.com/storm.
"It may seem unusual or even unlikely that you would use the Internet to report a power outage, but customers can make it work for them," said SCE&G’s Emergency Response Coordinator Stacy Shuler. "They can call a family member and have that person do it for them or they may have Internet access where they work."
While online, customers can also view SCE&G’s outage map, which shows the number of outages in service areas across the state. However, if Internet access is simply not an option, this same information is also available through the company’s automated voice response system. In the event of a storm, the company will utilize its high volume call answering system to effectively manage the increased number of calls.
"Other than getting their lights on, we know what customers want most is information," said Shuler. "Our goal is to use several different technologies to provide our customers with the most up-to-date status."
SCE&G is also exploring other emerging technologies, such as handheld data devices, as potential channels for communicating important safety information to customers. In the meantime, the company would like to remind customers of the following tips:
- Stay alert to storm advisories and evacuate if told to do so.
- Have flashlights and fresh batteries on hand.
- Turn off and unplug electronics and appliances when a storm is imminent.
- Do not attempt to connect a generator to your home’s main circuit; instead, plug appliances directly into the generator. Failure to follow these instructions can be harmful, even deadly.
- Do not ever touch a downed power line. Contact SCE&G immediately at 1-888-333-4465 to report it.
- Never try to remove a tree limb or any other object that is in contact with a power line. Call SCE&G for help.
With forecasters predicting 13 to 17 named storms, seven to 10 of those becoming hurricanes, now is the time to get prepared. SCE&G crews are ready and want to make sure you are, too. For more information on storm safety or SCE&G’s power restoration process, visit www.sceg.com/storm.