First Energy ready for tonight's winter storm - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

First Energy ready for tonight's winter storm

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

First Energy tells 21 News they are ready for ice, sleet, snow and whatever this winter storm brings.

"We obviously take the weather very seriously and we have been monitoring the weather situation for the last four days," Mark Durbin, a First Energy Spokesman, said.

The electric supplier has two meteorologists on staff that help the company decide if they need to call in reinforcements or not. 

Durbin said, in this case, it looks like the ice and snow are only targeting Ohio and Pennsylvania.

First Energy has taken steps throughout the year according to Durbin to make sure their electrical system is as strong as it can be.  That includes tree trimming to help get rid of branches that could take down power lines when they are weighed down with ice or snow.

The power company highly recommends that you report an outage as soon as possible if you have one.  

Just dial: 888-LIGHTSS.  It will allow First Energy to see where the biggest pocket of outages are and where they can get the most people back on in the quickest amount of time.

Durbin also says don't assume that a neighbor has called in the outage, make that call yourself.

You can check to see when your power is likely to be back on by checking:  Firstenergycorp.com.

First Energy has notified their lineman they are on-call, they will work 16 hours at a time, rest for eight hours and then work 16 more hours until all power is restored if need be.

Workers from other First Energy areas will also be deployed, and even employees from other electric companies could be used if the situation warrants.

If your power is out and you decide to use a generator, Durbin said that generators should be installed by quality electricians and should not be inside your house.  

There should also be a switch that prevents the electrical current from going beyond the customers' house to keep a lineman from getting shocked or electrocuted.

Also if someone sees downed wires please report them to First Energy immediately and stay away from them.

First Energy said their linemen do a great job in these emergency situations braving unbelievable weather conditions and working long hours to try and make sure everyone has power.

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