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Red Cross and Unitil join in safety messaging
February 29, 2012
Concord, N.H.

With the approaching winter storm, the American Red Cross in New Hampshire and the Unitil Corporation have combined efforts to send out critical safety messaging to the public about safety at home and on the road.

“Scattered outages are possible during any significant weather event, and the condition of the roads has the potential to delay restoration efforts should they occur,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “Local utilities will work quickly and efficiently to restore power, but it is important for all households and businesses to remain ‘Red Cross Ready’ throughout the winter months.”

Unitil and the American Red Cross urge customers to take precautions with the approach of this major winter storm.

  • Check power meters and vents. Remove snow and ice carefully from a meter or outdoor appliance vent carefully with a broom. Do not use a shovel as it can damage the meter. Avoid shoveling or plowing snow up against or covering the meter or pipe. Remove icicles from overhead eaves and gutters to assure dripping water does not freeze the meter or vent pipe. Contact a qualified roofing vendor if you cannot reach icicles yourself. Do not kick your gas meter in an attempt to break ice off, as this too can cause damage.
  • Keep food as safe as possible.  Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First use perishable food from the refrigerator. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.  Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment. Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights may be out and roads will be congested. Not only are you putting yourself and others at risk for injury, but accidents can damage utility poles and add hours to any ongoing restoration effort.
  • Using generators safely.   When using a portable generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a portable generator to a home’s electrical system. Make sure that the generator you purchase is rated for the power that you think you will need.
  • Do not touch any electrical power lines.  Keep your family away from power lines. Report downed power lines to the appropriate officials in your area.
  • Carbon Monoxide kills!  The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire. Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. If a carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. 

“The American Red Cross and utility companies such as Unitil share in a common concern for all people in all communities impacted by storm damage,” said ARC NH CEO, Maria White. “Speaking with a unified voice during times of crises gives more strength and resonance to our important safety messaging.”

More information is available at the websites for the American Red Cross in New Hampshire (www.nhredcross.org) and Unitil (www.unitil.com).

 

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. For more information, please visitwww.nhredcross.orgor join our blog athttp://blog.redcross.org.Red Cross services are provided to all communities in New Hampshire. For more information about the American Red Cross or the services in your community, please visit www.nhredcross.orgor call the NH Regional Office at 1-800-464-6692.

For ARC information, please contact:
Lisa C. Michaud
Chief Communications/External Relations Officer
American Red Cross, NH Region
Michaudl@nhredcross.org
Tel: 603-540-0788
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About Unitil Corporation

Unitil Corporation provides energy for life by safely and reliably delivering natural gas and electricity in New England. We are committed to the communities we serve and to developing people, business practices, and technologies that lead to the delivery of dependable, more efficient energy. Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Together, Unitil’s operating utilities serve approximately 104,300 electric customers and 79,900 natural gas customers. Other subsidiaries include Usource, Unitil’s non-regulated business segment. For more information about our people, technologies, and community involvement please visit www.unitil.com.

 


For more information please contact:
Alec O'Meara

Media Relations Manager
omeara@unitil.com
Tel: 603-773-6404
Mobile: 603-998-9095




 

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