Every Minute Counts. Don’t Wait to Call 211
If you will need help evacuating in the event of a hurricane, dial 211 to register in advance for a ride. Dial 211 as soon as possible if:
- you have a disability or special health care need and require assistance to get out.
- you cannot drive and cannot arrange transportation.
- you do not have a vehicle and you have no one else to help you evacuate.
During a disaster, the goal and responsibility of the Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB) is to put into action its general emergency plan, deploy work crews and work with city, state and national organizations to continue to deliver the best service safely and reliably.
Portable Electric Generator Safety
People rely on portable generators for electricity during temporary power outages. According to the National Fire Protection Association, carbon monoxide deaths and injuries are rising along with portable generator sales. Learn more about generator safety at http://www.nfpa.org. Here are a few tips to keep you safe when using generators:
- Portable generators emit carbon monoxide fumes during operation.
- To avoid deadly carbon monoxide fumes, keep the generator outside.
- Don't store generator fuel near an ignition source.
- Connecting a generator directly to your home's wiring can 'back feed' into the power lines enough to kill a
utility lineman making outage repairs.
- Never overload a generator; it can cause a fire or electrical shock.
- Avoid shocks; read the owner's manual to properly ground your generator.
- Avoid burns; stay away from operating generators.
Fallen Power Line Safety
- Treat every fallen line as if it were energized.
- Never touch a power line.
- Call BPUB at (956) 983-6300 to report a downed power line or a service interruption.
Delivering Reliable Service
At the Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB), year-round planning encompasses all areas of utility generation and delivery to minimize customer impact during a natural disaster.
Before a storm hits
Crews and staff drill in emergency response and cross-train to fill in where needed, including call and reporting centers. Agreements are secured with outlying utility providers to mobilize extra repair crews and equipment.
Depending on the situation severity, action and continuation plans may be activated. All BPUB personnel are placed on special alert and understand that they are expected to report for duty at any hour. BPUB and mutual-aid crews fuel up and deploy. Staging areas are set up to deliver needed supplies to crews who respond in 16-hour rotations to get any downed utilities back online as quickly as possible.
During a storm
A 24-hour staffed BPUB command center continues to monitor, communicate and activate assessment and repair crews who remain deployed until conditions become too severe. Meanwhile, other staff stationed at the City of Brownsville Emergency Operations Center communicates ongoing operations updates to city, state and federal organizers.
Should utility outages occur, BPUB restores power plants and affected transmission lines and substations, which are essential to providing public utilities including water treatment plants. Meanwhile, BPUB restores electrical lines and equipment that serve critical facilities, like hospitals, police and fire stations and emergency broadcast centers. Crews restore service to the largest number of customers in the shortest amount of time. Once this is done, crews repair infrastructure serving smaller groups and neighborhoods until every customer is back online.