COVID-19 alert level 4 changes storm response
Vector is monitoring meteorological advice that a storm may hit parts of Auckland on Easter Sunday and Monday, with the potential for strong winds to cause power cuts.
Vector’s Head of Capital Programme Delivery, Minoru Frederiksens says, “Vector’s electricity network is an essential service and our work includes responding to outages caused by storms during lockdown. We are acutely aware that our customers are confined to their homes and whether working from home or not, any outage will add to the stress of the COVID-19 lockdown.
“Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, our response to outages caused by storms will be different, as we have reconfigured how our teams work together. Our field crews are now working in smaller teams, and they have been split into groups that do not mix to contain any potential coronavirus infection. We are also following strict social distancing protocols, including in relation to interacting with members of the public.
“What this means for our customers, is that we will be operating with smaller teams, but we will have more of them to reduce the impact of the changes we have needed to make. It’s possible that it could take longer to get power back if there are outages due to the forecast bad weather this weekend.
“We recognise that it’s also different for the public who can’t break their bubbles and go to friends or families if they have a prolonged outage. However, the public can be assured that although our teams may be smaller, we have plenty of crew available and they will be working extremely hard to restore any outages safely.
“As always, the safety of our teams and the public is always Vector’s top priority and with COVID-19 there are additional measures we need to take to keep our people and customers safe, and to do our bit to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“In light of the advice we are currently receiving from meterological services, we ask that customers do their best to prepare by following the checklist below and ensuring their devices and power banks are fully charged today.”
If customers experience power cuts, they should use our Outage Centre to monitor restoration progress and be understanding of the time taken to restore power under these lockdown conditions: vector.co.nz/outages.
STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO BE PREPARED:
- Always stay away from fallen power lines or damage electrical equipment. Now more than ever we don’t want to create problems for other essential services like Fire and Emergency for example.
- Watch out for falling tree branches as these can cause damage to power lines.
- Avoid possible damage to electrical appliances (in the unlikely event there is a power surge when the power is restored) by switching off appliances at the wall.
- Keep a torch and spare batteries handy and ensure that you have at least one telephone that does not rely on electricity for operation.
- Ensure that an alternate fuel is always available for cooking (e.g. gas for BBQ).
If you have an electric garage door, prepare how you can gain entry to the garage another way so you have access to your vehicle.
- Tie down objects on your property that may be impacted by strong winds (ie: trampolines, BBQ’s and BBQ covers). We don’t want people to break their bubbles to retrieve property.
- If you are on tank water please ensure you have plenty of bottled water available.
- If life or property is at risk, call 111.
- We ask the public not to approach our teams for their safety and that of our crews, if they do please remember physical distancing of two metres. Our crews have been advised to remind the public of physical distancing rules if they are feeling unsafe.