How Con Ed handles future power outages: First Meeting: Monday evening, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at Greenburgh Town Hall, 177 Hillside Avenue.
Now that the lights are on , the real work starts. We MUST demand changes in the approach that Con Ed uses when there are power outages. Our region has had at least one major outage a year for a few years. We must make sure that the nightmare which our communities experienced after Hurricane Sandy NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN.
I am forming a citizens committee to lobby the NYS Public Service Commission and other officials to force changes in the processes used. Our first meeting, open to anyone who experienced a power outage, will be held on MONDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 19th at 7 PM. The meeting will be held at Greenburgh Town Hall, 177 hillside ave.. If you would like to join the committee please e mail me at email@example.com.
During the past week I have asked Con Ed customers to provide me with a list of suggestions that could be forwarded to the NYS Public Service Commission and officials. I will summarize the suggestions later this week and will post it on the town website. Your additional suggestions and recommendations are welcome. Among the suggestions to be aggressively pushed for:
* In the event of power outages Con Ed should work around the clock --24 hours a day. During this storm they stopped working in the early evening. The company claims that it's dangerous to work in the evening - since out of state crews are not familiar with the territory. But--they have sent crews to work during the early evening hours, when it's dark. What's the difference????
* The PSC should direct Con Ed to hire licensed electricians to work with the company to restore power quickly. There are many licensed electricians who would be delighted to help out --but who have been told that they can't assist Con Ed.
* The PSC should investigate when Con Ed called in out of state crews. The hurricane was predicted. The crews did not arrive until days after the storm. Should Con Ed have called in out of state crews earlier? Were they prepared?
* Our committee should ask the PSC to investigate how Con Ed deals with the frail elderly and disabled when there are emergencies. Many people with serious illnesses advised me that Con Ed gave them no help during the storm. I received calls from family members who have spouses who depend on oxygen, some who were bed ridden, had surgeries, etc.. Some assisted living facilities and nursing homes helped out during the storm.
* Con Ed should be required to reimburse families for expenses for prolonged outages. The PSC should change state law and provide residents who had significant losses, expenses with reimbursement.
* Local governments should be provided with a daily report - how many crews are assigned--what streets they will be sent to --and at the end of the day we should be provided with a progress report.
* Con Ed should publicize their priority system after hearings are held. Some neighborhoods have to be last. If everyone knew the reasons for the priority system and if the priority system makes sense - people would be more understanding of the reasons.
I hope to see you at the meeting on NOVEMBER 19th at 7 PM. Shoprite has offered to donate food for a reception for participants of the meeting--an informal reception will begin at 6:30 PM. The meeting is open to anyone in the county who wants to help lobby for change.
__ PAUL FEINER