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Preparing Your Home Utilities. Kenneth (Kenny) Mercado Vice President Distribution Electric Operations. About CenterPoint Energy. 5,000 square-mile electric service territory serving nearly 2 million customers Owns and maintains the power lines and electric distribution system

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Preparing Your Home Utilities

Kenneth (Kenny) Mercado

Vice President Distribution Electric Operations

about centerpoint energy
About CenterPoint Energy
  • 5,000 square-mile electric service territory serving nearly 2 million customers
  • Owns and maintains the power lines and electric distribution system
  • Also delivers natural gas to 1 million customers in the Houston area
it can happen here
It can happen here…
  • Until Hurricane Rita in 2005, Houston had not been threatened by a serious hurricane since Alicia in 1983
  • Hurricane Rita allowed us to fully activate our Emergency Operating Plan for the first time in 22 years
  • The National Weather Service predicts that hurricanes will become more frequent and more intense
  • CenterPoint Energy uses all Houston-area personnel in the Emergency Operating Plan

Storm Restoration Guide

Customers should plan to be without power for an extended amount of time:

  • Category 1 storm – 2 to 3 days
  • Category 3 storm – 2 weeks
  • Category 5 storm – 2 months
emergency operations plan
Emergency Operations Plan
  • The goal of our EOP is to safely restore service to our customers as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • CenterPoint Energy provides an essential public service that our customers rely on for their health, comfort and safety. When this service is threatened by a major disaster such as a hurricane, it is our responsibility as a company to come together as one to deliver our brand promise of being “Always There”. Our EOP is designed to assist us in living up to that promise.
emergency operations plan6
Emergency Operations Plan
  • Designed to efficiently restore electric service in orderly and timely manner
      • First – restore service to key facilities vital to public safety, health and welfare
      • Next – repair major lines that restore power to greatest number of customers in least amount of time
  • Hurricane drill conducted annually
  • Part of a nationwide mutual assistance program
what you can do to prepare electric utilities
What You Can Do To PrepareElectric Utilities
  • If someone in your home depends on electricity for life-sustaining equipment, you need to make other arrangements
  • Turn off your electricity at the circuit breaker if you evacuate or expect flood waters to approach your home
  • Unplug sensitive electrical appliances, such as your computer

What You Can Do To Prepare Gas Utilities

  • Do NOT turn off your natural gas at the meter
  • If you choose to discontinue your gas service - turn off the gas at each appliance
After the storm
  • We’ll be working around the clock until everyone’s power is restored
  • 1st priority in restoring service is to key facilities vital to safety, health and welfare, such as hospitals, water treatment plants and public service facilities
  • Then we repair those major lines and circuits that will restore power to the greatest number of customers in the shortest amount of time.

Electric Service System

EOP Restoration Strategy

  • Distribution backbone
  • Circuits with critical customers
  • Lateral distribution lines
  • Individual customer drops
resources required for a direct hit category 3 hurricane
CNP Operational Resources Planned

CNP Lineman/Field Skills 1,100

Mutual Assistance Skills 2,500

Contractor Skills 3,500

Tree Trimmers 4,000

CNP Non-Operational 2,350

Employees Assigned

Total Resources Planned 13,450

Manage & support resources quickly











End Day 1

End Day 2

End Day 3

CNP Linemen

Contract Linemen

MA Linemen

Tree Trimmers

CNP Non Op Employees

Resources Required for a Direct Hit - Category 3 Hurricane

After the storm

  • All Houston-area employees have assigned EOP duties. Many must step out of their offices and into the field. Hurricane Rita examples:
  • Field inspectors: Randy Honeycutt, manager in the tax department, walked miles of power lines to locate problems with tree limbs and fuses so that power outages could be located and crews could be sent straight to the problem areas.
  • Crew spokespersons: Zan May, finance director, worked in the field with our line crews so that crews could focus on their restoration efforts, while he answered customer questions and kept them safely away from the work area.
  • Staging area logistics: Debbie Dayton, financial analyst, helped coordinate hotel, food, laundry services, and other support to the more than 2,400 mutual assistance workers who came to help us restore power.

Post-storm electric safety tips

  • DO call us to report a downed power line or other electric emergencies
    • Always stay away from power lines!
    • Stay away from standing water – energized power lines could be submerged
  • Do NOT call us to report your lights are out
    • We are aware of neighborhood outages
    • Customer Service needs phone lines open to take emergency calls
  • Please do not interrupt linemen while they are at work

Post-storm electric safety tips

  • If you have evacuated and want to know if your home has power, please do not call us during the first few days.

Instead, you can:

    • Call your answering machine to see if it picks up
    • Call neighbors
    • Monitor the news
    • Check for general outage information

Post-storm electric safety tips

  • If water has risen above the electrical outlets, contact a licensed electrician before turning on the main circuit breaker
  • Any appliances or electronic equipment that have been submerged will need to dry thoroughly for at least one week and be checked by a qualified repair person prior to being turned on
  • If the outside unit of an air conditioning system has been under water, mud and water may have accumulated in the controls. Have the unit checked by a qualified air conditioning technician

Post-storm electric safety tips

  • Check your home’s weatherhead
  • Any weatherhead problems will need to be repaired by an electrician prior to service being restored
post storm portable generator tips
Post-storm portable generator tips
  • Do not connect portable generators directly to a building's wiring without a licensed electrician first disconnecting the house wiring from CenterPoint Energy's service
  • Never run a portable generator indoors or in a garage - place it in a well ventilated area. Generators can produce carbon monoxide, and the odorless fumes can be deadly
post storm natural gas safety tips
Post-storm natural gas safety tips
  • If you smell gas, leave the area immediately and then call us
  • Do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off
post storm natural gas safety tips20
Post-storm natural gas safety tips
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or a gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure it is in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service
  • Don’t forget to check outdoor appliances, such as pool heaters and gas grills
  • Call 811 to locate utility lines prior to digging on your property while conducting clean-up

Preparing Your Home Utilities

Kenneth (Kenny) Mercado

Vice President Distribution Electric Operations