GAHANNA, Ohio,  – As Hurricane Ian moves closer to landfall, utility companies are anticipating widespread outages and have asked for assistance.

AEP Ohio is sending nearly 590 employees and contractors (line personnel, tree crews, damage assessors and crew supervisors) from throughout its service territory to both Florida and Georgia to help with anticipated power restoration needs.

What does a storm surge look like? Watch here.

AEP Ohio employees and contractors have been dispatched in waves over the past few days, with damage assessment teams stationed in Florida and line crews en route to Georgia. Crews have packed for at least a two-week deployment to help with restoration efforts.

For decades, utility companies across the country have come together when disasters strike. Having extra hands on deck can help get power back on faster for customers impacted by the storm. 

“Our neighbors in the south are in need and we’re committed to doing our part,” said Marc Reitter, AEP Ohio President and Chief Operating Officer. “We’re thankful for our dedicated employees and contractors who leave at a moment’s notice to lend a helping hand and for those who remain at home to keep the power on.”