CenterPoint Energy’s internal Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) guides the company’s preparation, mitigation, response and recovery from an emergency.
Our robust emergency preparedness and response procedures are intended to prepare us for all types of emergencies. Training, conducting drills, testing equipment and coordination are all important functions to ensure a successful EOP response. The use of an Incident Command structure establishes a common set of incident objectives and strategies to follow.
Actions taken during EOP incidents and drills are evaluated to determine lessons learned, providing a valuable opportunity to learn from our experiences, identify potential areas for improvement and prevent reoccurrence of potential issues. Emergency plans and procedures are reviewed annually and updated as needed.
If severe weather is predicted, CenterPoint Energy communicates important safety information to customers and the public, such as how to report downed power lines, outages, and natural gas emergencies and to stay safe around electric and natural gas facilities.
When restoring power, we begin with facilities vital to safety, health and welfare, such as hospitals, water treatment plants and public service facilities. While addressing key facilities, we follow our priority restoration process by making repairs to electrical facilities that will return power to the largest number of customers first. We then continue the restoration process by prioritizing repairs to benefit the greatest number of customers, until power is returned to everyone.
Throughout the restoration process, we maintain contact with local emergency management agencies, news media and public officials.
CenterPoint Energy is part of electric utility mutual assistance programs that provide access to thousands of linemen and tree trimmers from around the country to lend a hand during widespread power outage emergencies. Coming to the aid of other utilities is nothing new to our employees. Over the years, crews have responded and restored power to hundreds of thousands of customers throughout the country who have been left in the dark following hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.
In response to Hurricane Nicholas’ impact on our electric and natural gas systems in Greater Houston and surrounding communities, more than 3,200 Electric Operations employees and contractors focused on the restoration work. About 1,800 linemen and tree trimmers from the mutual assistance network were assigned to staging sites across the impacted areas.
“We are ready to lend a helping hand to our neighbor utilities and are driven to restoring power to affected customers safely and reliably. Our crews are skilled to perform in any weather conditions, just like they do for our customers at home.”
– Lynnae Wilson, CenterPoint Energy’s Senior Vice President, Electric Business