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For Immediate Release: December 29, 1997


With weather forecasters predicting high winds and rain affecting the
New York City and Westchester area tonight, Con Edison is closely
monitoring the stormís progress and has extra crews ready to deal with
any power outages that may occur.

Con Edison offers the following storm tips to its customers to help
weather the storm:

  • If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Treat all
    down wires as if they are live. Never attempt to move them or touch
    them with any object. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from
    view by tree limbs, leaves, water or snow. Report all downed wires to
    Con Edison and your local police department immediately. If a power
    line falls on your car while youíre in it, it is recommended that you stay
    inside the vehicle and wait for expert help.

  • If your power goes out, turn off all lights and appliances to prevent
    overloaded circuits when power is restored. To report a power
    interruption at your home, phone the customer service number on your
    Con Edison bill or the Con Edison phone number listed in your local
    phone book. When reporting an outage, have your Con Edison
    account number handy, if possible, and report whether your neighbors
    have also lost power. Meanwhile, leave at least one light switch in the
    on position to alert you when power has been restored.

  • Use extreme caution if you use a fireplace or a portable heater
    fueled by a combustible liquid, and never use a gas stove for heat. The
    misuse of stoves or other gas appliances can lead to dangerous levels
    of carbon monoxide. If kerosene or other types of heaters are legal in
    your area (they are not legal in New York City), always follow the
    manufacturers instructions carefully. Your home will hold heat for a
    period of time, which can be extended if doors are kept closed and
    windows are sealed tightly.

  • If your heat is off for an extended period of time and pipes are in
    danger of freezing, turn on faucets slightly. Running water will not
    freeze as quickly.

  • Check to make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios
    or televisions are in working order, and use candles with care. Also,
    make sure you have a supply of extra batteries. Weather updates and
    news on restorations of electrical service can be heard on most local
    radio and television stations.

  • Avoid the temptation to open your freezer to see if food is still frozen.
    Every time you open the door, room-temperature air enters and speeds
    the thawing process. Most fully loaded freezers will keep food frozen for
    36 to 48 hours, half-full freezers will keep food frozen for about 24
    hours. This time of year, unheated garages and sheds are good places
    to store food when the temperature outside is at or below freezing.

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