Storm Preparation

 
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Storm Season lasts June 1 through November 30. Make a plan to protect the people and things you value.

Before a Storm Hits

In the past five years, JEA has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in hardening our electric, water and sewer systems to make them more resistant to storm-related disruptions. These critical repairs and improvements help us restore power and return to normal operations more quickly after a major storm.

How You Can Prepare

Below, you will find some tips to help your family weather Northeast Florida's next major storm.

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Closed Title:Verify Your Contact Information with JEA
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Make sure we have your latest phone number (cellphone and land line) as well as an email address on file, as we’ll be communicating with customers through these channels. Update your contact information online or call us at 665-6000 to update your contact information by phone.

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    Closed Title:Trim Your Trees
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    Proper tree care and routine trimming can greatly reduce outages to the power grid as seen during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 by improving tree structure and health. Local tree care specialists and arborists can help identify risks and minimize damage before the storm strikes.

    Pruning Your Trees 
    JEA's Tree Damage and Debris Removal Policy

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    Closed Title:Gather Supplies and Prepare Your Home
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    Storing Fresh Water

    • Capture water in your water heater by turning off power to the unit, then close the water valves. This way if you lose water pressure, you will have about 40 gallons of fresh water stored in the tank
    • Store additional water in your bathtub, and fill the washing machine with water, too. This water supply can be used later for cleaning or to operate your toilet.
    • If you plan to evacuate, turn off water at your home's main service valve.

    Power

    • Keep mobile devices fully charged.
    • If you plan to evacuate, turn off the circuit breakers for the water heater.
    • Consider turning off power to your home at the main electrical panel, especially if your home floods.

    Stock Up On Supplies

    • Have enough water for several days (one gallon per person per day). Don't forget pets!
    • Set out a battery-powered radio, flashlights and plenty of batteries.

    For more tips, follow the City of Jacksonville's recommendations for what you should have in your Emergency Supply Kit.

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    Closed Title:Make a Plan for Medical Equipment
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    JEA does not restore power to certain customers before others, no matter their dependence on life-sustaining medical devices. Customers with such devices should consider sitting the storm out at a storm shelter.

    City of Jacksonville Special Needs Shelter Information
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    Closed Title:Register Your Portable Generator with JEA
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    Register your generator with JEA to avoid injury or death of JEA employees working on power lines.

    Do not connect your generator directly to your home's wiring. Generators can "backfeed" into the power lines attached to your home, which can increase voltage anywhere on our system and seriously injure or kill a JEA lineman or your neighbor on the same line. Additionally, do not plug a portable generator into an electrical outlet in your home or garage. It can still backfeed power into JEA’s utility lines.

    Florida Law requires that if you wish to hard-wire a generator to your home, it must be installed by a licensed electrician with an approved transfer switch. You may also consider having an electrician install a transfer switch in your home, so it's safe and convenient to switch to the generator when the times comes.

    Read more about Generator Safety

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    Closed Title:Evacuation Zones
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    Check to see if your home is vulnerable to hurricane tidal surge flooding. The City of Jacksonville's storm surge map gives you a general indication of the extent of flooding that might be experienced from various hurricane categories.

    Storm Surge Zones and Evacuation Routes

    Mandatory Evacuation Zones

    Some emergency management professionals recommend unplugging appliances and/or turning off power at the circuit breaker before evacuating in order to reduce the risk of fire or electrical hazards related to flooding. Homeowners should keep in mind, however, that any food left in the refrigerator or freezer will spoil, and some alarm systems and sump pumps may not work if the power remains off for an extended period.

    For those who choose to leave the power on, experts recommend turning the refrigerator and freezer up to their highest settings to reduce the risk of food spoilage should the power go out.

    Safety experts do recommend that upon returning home after evacuating, homeowners turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker prior to entering to avoid any possible electrical hazards due to flooding. Enter with caution, avoid touching any electrical equipment and seek professional help if there is any sign of flooding or potential electrical danger.​

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    During the Storm

    At the height of a major storm, JEA personnel are in place, monitoring the weather and assessing the impact on our facilities. Our Emergency Operations Center works around the clock. Key personnel are deployed out in the field to alert us to any serious system failures. And our linemen are in position, waiting for weather conditions to improve to the point that it is safe for them to begin restoring power.

    After the Storm

    Once the height of the storm passes and weather reports indicate it is safe, JEA immediately enters the restoration phase of our emergency operations. Our process is designed to assess and repair our facilities and restore power across our service territory as quickly and safely as possible.

    Learn How Restoration 1-2-3 Works

    Below, you will see answers to the most frequent questions we receive from customers.

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    Closed Title:Downed Power Lines
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    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. 

    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 COJ at (904) 630-2489.

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    Closed Title:Flooding and Your Electrical Connections
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    Consult a private electrician to determine if it is safe to restore power to your home. If rising waters 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.

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    Closed Title:Spoiled Food During a Storm
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    Hurricanes are considered an act of nature, 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.

    According to the American 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.

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    Closed Title:Billing Following Major Storms
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    Under normal circumstances, JEA customers are billed based on their actual usage as recorded by their home electric, water and/or irrigation meters.

    Following major storms or other emergencies, however, JEA may occasionally need to reassign meter readers to assist with power restoration. During these times, if customers’ meters cannot be read on schedule, JEA will follow standard industry practice and issue an estimated bill based on the household’s historical usage data.

    How Billing is Estimated

    On those rare occasions when JEA must issue estimated bills, we compare a customer’s usage during the same month last year, then factor in the number of days in the current billing cycle (which varies due to weekends and holidays). If a customer has not been at the address for one year, charges are compared to the previous month.

    Storm Preparation Tip

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    Make sure your JEA account information is up to date so we can reach you with power restoration updates.

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