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No. JEA generally restores power in the sequence that
will result in returning service to the greatest number of customers as soon as
possible. The only customers that receive any special consideration are
hospitals, public safety and other life support or life-sustaining institutions.
Typically, these large customers are served by very large electric lines, which
are the first lines to be repaired anyway.
Not immediately. JEA
will know the major circuits are out and begin repairing them first. Once the
circuits are restored, JEA will ask you - through the local media - to begin
calling in with your individual outage information.
No. If Jacksonville is hit by
a hurricane requiring multiple days of restoration efforts, JEA will suspend
late fees until business returns to normal.
JEA will not choose to turn off electric or water
service to any customers. As weather conditions worsen, it is very likely that
some customers will lose power. As long as safety permits, we will continue
trying to keep power on for all customers by making repairs to the system as
needed. However, once winds exceed 45 miles per hour, it is no longer safe to
use equipment like bucket trucks. At that point, JEA will order crews to shelter
until the brunt of the storm passes. Crews will return to work as soon as they
can safely do so.
JEA's water and sewer plants have backup generators to
help keep those services operating throughout a storm. However, severe system
damage could occur causing service disruptions. Crews will make those repairs as
quickly as possible.
Yes. Consult a private electrician to determine if it is safe to restore
power to your home. If rising water approached your home, but just missed coming
inside, you may need to have an air conditioning contractor check your heating
and cooling system. The outdoor unit of the air conditioner typically sits on
the ground, lower than the home, so rising water may have gotten into the
electrical connections and wiring of the compressor unit control panel.
restoration plan focuses on returning power to the facilities that deliver power
to the largest number of affected customers first. First, we repair damage to
the JEA facilities that produce power and the lines that carry it from our
plants. Then, we focus on restoring power to the customers who provide essential
services to your community, such as hospitals, police, and fire stations. Next,
we repair damage that will return power to the greatest number of customers in
the least amount of time. Once major repairs have been made, we begin working to
restore individuals and small groups of customers. But with the widespread
damage and sheer volume of affected facilities, it takes essentially the same
level of effort to fix the facility that provides power to thousands as it does
to one that delivers power to only a few. So even though we have restored power
to a very large percentage of those affected, it will take more time to get to
those smaller groups of homes or businesses scattered throughout our service
area. We then begin the very time-consuming process of going street by street
and house by house to make the final repairs that will get everyone's power back
If you cannot boil
water, use regular (not concentrated) bleach to purify water for drinking.
From the American Red Cross:
Continue to use bottled or disinfected water for drinking and
cooking until JEA's water supply has been declared safe. Listen to local news
sources for regular updates.
Certainly, stay away from the waste and contact JEA at (904) 665-6000 to
report it. JEA has portable, gas-powered generators that it uses to keep pump
stations working in the event of a major power outage and prevent Sanitary Sewer
No. JEA will
generally restore the system to the existing design. Most lines will remain
overhead. The objective in any restoration effort is to restore power as quickly
and safely as possible. Installing underground utilities is a time-consuming job
that would greatly delay power restoration to many customers. When JEA does
convert service from overhead to underground, the overhead system stays in place
until all construction on the underground system is complete. Only then is the
service switched over so that the power outage is very brief.
Each situation is unique. Stay tuned to your radio for
instructions about whether or when to call. If the damage to the electric system
is extensive, there may be no need for you to call in the first few days. If you
have lost water service, but not power, turn off the circuit breaker for the
water heater to prevent damage to the heating elements from
In the case of a major
outage, it will be days and may be even weeks before all power is restored.
However, JEA has mutual aid agreements in place with other electric utilities
around the southeast. JEA also has contracts with several private companies that
perform utility construction and tree clearing. These extra crews would provide
assistance to help restore power as quickly and safely as possible. JEA has
arranged for several staging areas around Northeast Florida where supplies and
equipment can be prepared and distributed to work crews in our area.
According to the Red Cross, food can stay fresh in
the refrigerator for up to two days without electricity, and even longer in the
freezer. However, they also recommend using the food in the refrigerator first
as the frozen food will be safe longer. Freezing and storing water in clean
containers to leave in the refrigerator before the storm hits can also help your
food stay cool. It's best to have plenty of non-perishable food on hand to get
you through post-hurricane recovery. Of course, don't open the
refrigerator/freezer door any more than necessary.
you plan to evacuate, turn off the circuit breakers for the water heater. Also,
consider turning off power to your home at the main electrical panel, and
turning off water at the home's main service valve.
storm has safely cleared, we encourage you to assess your own damage, too. Once
JEA crews have cleared away any electric lines, the homeowner is responsible for
tree removal on the homeowner's property. JEA will clear from the lines only
that section of a tree or limb that prevents a crew from repairing the JEA
wires. All cleanup from a broken or fallen tree and/or limb is the
responsibility of the property owner. JEA will not remove limbs or trees from
wires that are NOT JEA's, which includes phone and cable TV wires. JEA will NOT
remove any limb or any part of a tree that is on a structure or building.
Likewise, any damage to the weather head (the device where the electric line
attaches to the home) must be repaired by a licensed electrician before JEA can
safely reconnect your power.
The City of Jacksonville's Department of Public Works
is responsible for removing trees, limbs and other debris from the roadways. To
report this, contact City Link at (904) 630-2489.
JEA recommends you do not use a generator unless
you know how to use one safely. In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, some
homeowners connected generators to the wiring inside their homes. Electricity
from a generator flowed backward through the transformer causing the voltage to
increase to thousands of volts and electrocuted unsuspecting line-repair
personnel. With that important note made, we would suggest people think about
what they hope to gain with a generator. For example, if you think the power
will be out for one day, is that enough to justify purchasing a generator that
costs several hundred dollars? If you expect power will be out for weeks, how
will you obtain fuel to keep the generator running? Transporting and storing
large volumes of fuel can be dangerous. If you do purchase a generator, use it
outside your home in a well-ventilated area. Fumes from a running generator can
be deadly. Whatever you do, think about the purchase and have a good plan that
JEA field engineers, about 20 teams of two, begin a
field assessment of the damage. This effort could take several days, depending
on the level of damage the system sustains. Customers should keep in mind that
stopping the engineers to ask questions will slow down this assessment and can
also slow down the overall restoration effort. After the assessment is complete,
JEA will have a better idea of how long it will take to restore service to
customers. Also during this time, JEA will be communicating updates through
local media outlets about outages, where crews are working and the progress
If your power is on, JEA encourages you to keep your front
porch/flood light on - day and night - which will help our assessment teams
further focus their attention on homes and facilities where power needs to be
Please call 911 immediately to report a downed electric
line. STAY AWAY from all downed power lines because they may be energized. If
you get close enough to an energized power line you can be electrocuted - even
without actually touching the wire.
JEA will focus first on public health and safety facilities (hospitals,
police/fire stations, schools, etc.) then begin restoring power to major
circuits before responding to individual outages. Customers facing this type of
situation need to contact the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in their county
for assistance. The Jacksonville EOC telephone number is (904)
JEA staff members meet regularly to assess the situation and update
our strategies and plans. JEA has a comprehensive, detailed plan for responding
to a hurricane that assigns responsibilities to each JEA employee. Of course,
repair personnel will be making repairs to the system. However, many office
workers will be out in the field supporting those repair crews. They also may
serve as guides to out-of-town repair crews, using chain saws to remove debris
from JEA facilities, or serving meals to restoration crews.
hurricane threatens Jacksonville, we begin notifying those utilities and
companies with which we have mutual aid agreements and contracts so they will be
ready should we need them. JEA has agreements and contracts with other electric
utilities, food vending companies, fuel suppliers, tree-cutting services and
other vendors to assist and support the restoration effort.
Those who rely on electricity to operate necessary medical
equipment should make arrangements now to ensure their safety in the event of a
loss of power. People with "special needs" should contact the local Emergency
Operations Center (EOC) in Jacksonville at (904) 630-2472.
The standard recommendations are always prudent:
Here are a few
ideas you may not have thought of:
It could be that you and your neighbor do not share
the same power line (more specifically, the same circuit). The power line
feeding electricity to your home may be damaged, while the one to your
neighbor's house is not. It also could be that your individual connection
requires repair. It may also be possible that your home needs internal
electrical repairs before you can receive service.
Again, JEA will work
to restore power to the largest number of customers first, moving to individual
locations once power has been restored to major concentrations of customers.
No. Hurricanes are considered an act of nature and
therefore JEA is not responsible for spoilage. JEA encourages customers to buy
canned goods, not perishable items, and keep food stored in freezers to a
minimum during hurricane season.