PPL, Red Cross Gear Up for "Frankenstorm"
Lehigh Valley agencies prepare for impact of Hurricane Sandy.
The American Red Cross and PPL Corp. are ready if "Frankenstorm" stirs the Lehigh Valley.
PPL Corp. spokesman Joe Nixon said the utility "is monitoring the weather reports and making preparations to deal with what forecasters are expecting to be a major storm."
"We will bring to bear all available resources to respond to whatever impact Hurricane Sandy has on Pennsylvania and be fully staffed 24/7 beginning Monday," Nixon said.
He stated that sister utilities in Kentucky will be ready to join PPL crews Sunday night and that utilities from Texas, Arkansas and Utah have been contacted for possible assistance.
"In addition, we’ve notified all of our contractors who normally assist in storm restoration to remain local and we're canceling any time off for our operations personnel next week," Nixon said.
He added that expanding staffing is significant in storm preparation.
"Since a year ago, on the heels of the October snowstorm, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee, PPL Electric Utilities has made many improvements to better respond to major storms -- in particular, upgrading customer service systems to ensure we can handle increased customer call volume and improving information available for customers," Nixon said.
Meanwhile, American Red Cross Communications Officer Janice Osborne said the 13 chapters in Northeast Pennsylvania are "placing trained disaster workers, vehicles and supplies on alert in the 16-county region."
Osborne said residents are urged to put together an emergency kit that includes a three-day water supply for each person in the household, flashlights, a battery-operated radio and a first-aid kit.