EEI > Issues & Policy > Electric Reliability > Mutual Assistance
Harvey: Texas Response Ongoing
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The response to Harvey continues in the hardest-hit areas of Texas, and customers and rescuers should exercise extreme caution when re-entering areas and homes that have flooded. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the initial damage caused by a flood is not the only risk. Standing flood waters also can spread infectious diseases, bring chemical hazards, and cause injuries.  

Important safety tips to remember include:

  •  Always assume downed power lines are energized, stay away from them, and contact your local electric company.
  • Never step into a flooded basement or other room if water may be in contact with electrical outlets, appliances, or cords. Turn off power at the breaker box only if you are able to do so safely and without standing in water.
  • If a home or building was flooded, a licensed electrician should inspect electrical equipment and appliances before service is reconnected.
  • Use caution in flooded areas around power lines to ensure boats and their occupants do not contact energized lines or energized water.
  • Never use a portable generator inside your home, garage, crawl space, or other enclosed areas, or anywhere exhaust fumes can enter into enclosed spaces.
  • Do not approach electric company workers or contractors in a work zone as they make repairs, and exercise caution when driving near or around work zones.

Responding to major events like Harvey requires significant coordination among many public and private sectors. There are interdependencies among the energy, communications, supply chain, transportation, and water and wastewater sectors. Strong industry-government coordination is critical.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those who have been impacted by Harvey and with those who are helping in the search and rescue, recovery, and power restoration efforts.

Tropical Storm Harvey Resources

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The Mutual Assistance Network

Restoring power after a major storm is a complex task, and a speedy restoration requires significant logistical expertise, along with skilled line workers and specialized equipment. Electric companies affected by significant outages often turn to the industry’s mutual assistance network—a voluntary partnership of electric companies from across the country—to help speed restoration.

Mutual assistance is an essential part of the electric power industry’s service restoration process and contingency planning. The mutual assistance network is a cornerstone of electric company operations during emergencies. 

Above All, Safety First.

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