MANILA — The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has stepped up preparations for possible power outages that may result from the weather disturbance as a result of Typhoon Luis.
In a statement, Meralco public information office head Joe R. Zaldarriaga said the company has placed its personnel on alert so they could immediately respond to power outages.
“As a 24–hour service company, we are committed to respond to these types of emergency. Our crew are on standby to attend to any trouble that may affect our facilities in areas that might be hit by the typhoon,” he said.
The company has issued advisories on the appropriate precautionary measures to take before and during a typhoon.
“Meralco, for instance, has consistently requested billboard owners and operators to temporarily roll their billboards up to prevent these structures from being toppled by the strong winds,” Zaldarriaga said.
Billboards that fall into electrical facilities are among the main reasons for power outages whenever there are strong typhoons.
Apart from these measures, Meralco also gave safety tips on using electrical devices and appliances in case there will be flooding: a) Ensure that the main electrical power switch or circuit breaker is off. Be sure to be dry at all times while being in contact with any electrical facility; b) Unplug appliances from wall sockets. Turn off permanently connected equipment and unscrew all light bulbs if possible; c) Remove mud and dirt from service equipment or main circuit breaker/fuse and its enclosure using rubber gloves and rubber-soled shoes; d) Make sure that all electrical wires, connectors and other wiring devices are completely dry, and; e) When all electrical wires and accessories have dried and are clean, the wiring system of all appliances must be checked by a licensed electrician. Do not turn on flood-damaged electrical appliances.
Zaldarriaga said the public should keep all channels of communication open and ready. This includes charging their mobile phones, laptops, radios, and other communication gadgets. Customers may tune in to the different public service radio stations should power interruptions occur.
The Meralco Call Center is also ready to respond to customer concerns. Customers may get in touch with the Call Center at 16211 or visit Meralco’s website (www.meralco.com.ph), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/meralco) and Twitter account (@meralco) for updates. They may also text their concerns to 0920-9716211 (Smart), 0917-5516211 (Globe), and 0925-7716211 (Sun).