Power providers work to relieve disabled

Charleston, SC (WCSC) - Each of the low country's electric/power providers report offering special notification services to aid the disabled in the event of severe weather.

"Obviously we can't guarantee what's going to happen during a storm, but we do everything we can to notify you," said Trish Freshwater of SCEG.  "That way, if you are disabled, you can find a relative or friend to help you."

Freshwater says much like SCEG's White Cross program, major service providers have records of their customers who call in to verify a physical disability that could be threatened if electricity were to go out.

"You say, 'Hello.  I'm on medical equipment that is used to sustain my life'.  That is usually the triggering conversation," said Freshwater.  "[The provider] then calls the customer when a storm is coming... it's an extra step of notification for them in case they're not thinking about the possibility of a power outage."

As of Sunday afternoon, Berkeley Electric Cooperative reported between 11 - 12,000 outages in the tri-county area due to Fridays snow storm.  SCEG reported 2,500, a majority of which were between the Summerville and Walterboro area.

"A majority of residents who need to know about [aid services] already do," said Freshwater.  "However, it never hurts to remind people that most carriers provide [such services]."

To the best of Freshwaters knowledge, such notification services are free.  Customer service phone numbers can be found on each electrical billing statement; many numbers are toll free, some even take calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.