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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

LUMA releases plan to deal with natural disasters and severe weather

By The Star Staff

With Hurricane Beryl entering the eastern Caribbean on Monday as the earliest Category 4 storm on record and on a track to the south of Puerto Rico, LUMA Energy announced it submitted the fourth edition of its Emergency Response Plan (ERP) detailing its preparation for emergencies, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and severe weather.

ERP 2024 defines how LUMA, the private operator of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (PREPA) transmission and distribution system, prepares for and responds to emergencies following industry best practices, including the National Incident Management System established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Emergency preparedness is a priority at LUMA,” LUMA Energy President & CEO Juan Saca said. “Emergencies can be challenging, but at LUMA we are focused on planning, preparation and response. That is our responsibility. When disaster strikes, our goal is to work closely with our local and federal partners and mobilize all of our efforts to ensure we are ready and restore service as quickly and safely as possible.”

Some measures to prepare for emergencies include two emergency drills to practice the response in coordination with Puerto Rico and federal government agencies, such as the island Bureau of Emergency Management and Disaster Administration, commonly known as NMEAD, FEMA, PREPA and the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience.

“While the significant steps LUMA has taken over the past three years to install stronger poles, modernize substations, clear hazardous vegetation, and deploy automation devices across the island have made the system more reliable and resilient, the power [grid] remains fragile compared to other modern systems,” the company said. “Even as we prepare to respond to any emergency, the reality is that no utility company, no matter where it is located, can guarantee electrical service during a storm. Industry-wide, it is vitally important that our customers take action now to prepare for potential prolonged weather-related disruptions and, more importantly, to stay safe.”

To prepare its 1.5 million customers, LUMA will begin a multi-month emergency preparedness campaign to provide essential emergency tips and resources. As part of that effort, LUMA will remind customers to stay away from power lines and to report an electrical emergency that requires immediate attention by calling 1-844-888-5862 (LUMA).

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