Unison Networks is advising customers to be prepared for power outages, as MetService New Zealand forecasts bad weather towards the end of Easter weekend.
Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough says, “In preparation for changeable weather, we have our field crews on stand-by in the event of outages. However, during COVID-19 our crews are working under even more challenging conditions and restoration times could take longer than usual.”
“Unison’s field crews have been decentralised as part of our COVID-19 precautions. They are working in smaller teams and have been segregated to minimise any risk of COVID-19 spreading across critical workers. Coupled with additional safety requirements in place to protect crews and the public, this can lengthen the time it takes to restore power,” said Mr Gough.
Before power outages, Unison advises the following safety precautions:
- Prepare as normal when storms approach – tie down loose objects, ensure you have drinking water stored and other essential supplies.
- Take particular note of items that may get caught in gale force winds – trampolines, tents.
- Medically dependant customers should let their electricity retailer know and be prepared for power disruptions. If there is an immediate health threat, they should contact their health provider or call 111.
During power outages, Unison advises the following safety precautions:
- Check for fallen or damaged electricity lines. Never touch wires or lines lying on the ground, hanging from poles, or objects such as tree branches that may be touching them. If you see a power line down, call 0800 2 UNISON.
- Turn off the power at the main switch if you suspect any electrical damage in your home. If the power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances to prevent possible damage by a power surge when the electricity supply is restored.
- Remember that if the electricity network is damaged, it might take some time to get reconnected, so it’s advisable to have a battery-operated radio, a torch, spare batteries, and a full gas bottle for your BBQ as part of your emergency kit.
- Please do not approach restoration teams for your own safety and that of the crews during COVID-19.
Known power outages are on Unison’s website: https://www.unison.co.nz/outages. To stay up to date, customers are encouraged to visit the website or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UnisonNetworks/ or call 0800 2 UNISON (0800 2 86476).
“With much of the community now based from home, we will do our very best to minimise the impact on customers’ power supply. In stormy weather, and under unprecedented pandemic conditions, we will aim to restore power as quickly as possible while ensuring the safety of our crews and the public,” Mr Gough said.