A weekly column by Police Chief Steven Wojnar of the Dudley Police Department
Week of June 14, 2020
With the onset of warm weather, severe storms, with rain, lighting, and wind, occur frequently at this time of year. During these stormy weather events, power outages can take place. I was asked to remind residents about the recommended reporting procedure to follow when they experience this situation at their home.
Stormy weather often causes a variety of problems including accidents, downed trees, and other dangerous situations. When a power outage occurs, our dispatch center is flooded with calls and frequent requests are made for periodic updates on when power will be restored. Our dispatchers report outages to the electric company and assess the situation for emergencies or hazards. During serious weather events, our focus will be on widespread outages and hazardous situations requiring immediate attention. When a large volume of “inquiry” calls are made, phone lines are occupied and attention can be taken away from the business at hand. This may hinder or slow a response to emergencies.
When an outage occurs, utilize the phone numbers or on-line services to report outages to National Grid. The local number for our area is 1-800-465-1212 and the on-line site is www.nationalgridus.com. They will document your report and provide some estimate on time of restoration. Should you have an emergency or require additional immediate assistance, please contact 911 or our business line 508-943-4411 right away. Otherwise, for a general report or follow-up, it is best to use the National Grid direct contact method. If bad weather is expected, be sure to charge your cell phone ahead of time. If you have strictly cordless phones in your home, you should try to have a direct line somewhere. Most cordless phones require power and may not work during an outage. This is especially important if you do not have a cell phone or you are in an area of town with restricted reception. If you have internet-based phones or they are included along with your cable TV package, the power outage will impact their availability. Take this under consideration and try to plan accordingly in case of an emergency. If you live alone, ask family or friends to check on you periodically. This way, you can be sure to receive help if you need it.
Your cooperation and assistance with this process is greatly appreciated. Please make note of the National Grid contact information and leave it in a convenient place along with your other important numbers. This is important, especially if you must search for it in the dark.
In addition to the Coronavirus Pandemic, there is a great deal of turmoil taking place in our state and around the country. We continue to serve the people of Dudley and work with the community to improve the quality of life for everyone. I continue to thank the men and women from my department for their continued dedicated service to the Town of Dudley during these trying times. Thanks also go out to the many Police Officers, Fire and Emergency Services members, public works and government employees, hospital workers, grocery and retail workers, and all other “essential” personnel for their continued hard work and service.
Thanks again for your questions and comments. Please send them to me at the Dudley Police Department 71 West Main St., Dudley, Ma. 01571 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed in this weekly column are those of Chief Wojnar only and unless clearly noted, do not reflect the ideas or opinions of any other organization or citizen.