BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — High winds and severe weather are forecasted to roll into Western New York Sunday evening, and utility companies are beefing up staffing to keep up with any damage and outages.

National Grid said Sunday it’s bringing in extra staff and extending evening and overnight work shifts as damaging winds blow through the area. The company also put its “comprehensive emergency response plan” into motion.

This means placing crews with replacement equipment in areas expected to take the most damage, bringing in outside resources and sending a team out to clear fallen trees. The company plans to speak with municipal leaders to keep everyone in the loop on safety information and planning.

National Grid provided safety tips for customers to keep in mind:

  • If a power outage occurs, customers can notify National Grid online to expedite restoration.
  • Never touch downed power lines; always assume they are carrying live electricity. Downed
    lines should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 911.
  • Generators used to supply power during an outage must be operated outdoors to
    prevent the buildup of deadly carbon monoxide. Before operating a generator, be sure to
    disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker, located in the
    electric service panel. Failure to do this could endanger our crews and your neighbors.
  • Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a
    respirator, should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid at 1-800-642-4272.
  • In a medical emergency, always dial 911.
  • Keep working flashlights and an extra supply of batteries in your home and be sure to
    charge all electronic devices before the storm.
  • Please use caution when driving near emergency responders and crews restoring power.
  • Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need
    assistance during an outage.

To keep up with or report an outage, click here. For a map of local outages, click here.

Patrick Ryan is a JANY award-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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