ATLANTA – March 14, 2020 – As the impacts of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) grow, Southern Company Gas and its local distribution companies Atlanta Gas Light, Chattanooga Gas, Nicor Gas and Virginia Natural Gas are reassuring customers they have comprehensive plans and processes in place to address the implications of the outbreak while maintaining safe, affordable, reliable service.
“Our primary concern continues to be the safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers and communities. As part of our regular emergency preparedness protocol, we began monitoring the potential threat posed by the coronavirus in January,” said Kim Greene, Southern Company Gas chairman, president and CEO. “Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as other health officials and the Southern Company Medical Directors, this week we began utilizing technology to enable most of our 4,400 employees to work from home – mitigating exposure to peers while sustaining workflow.”
“As a business responsible for critical infrastructure, we are committed to sustaining business operations and continuing to serve customers during this challenging time,” Greene continued. “While it is deeply concerning to watch this pandemic unfold, we were prepared and we will continue to work with local, state and federal officials to respond in any way we can.”
Southern Company Gas’s business continuity and pandemic plans are designed to ensure public safety and continued operations through unforeseen challenges by readying critical personnel and facilities. In this case, the company is taking additional precautions to protect customers and employees alike when work is required in local businesses and residences.
Proactive actions have been taken to both prevent the spread of the illness and protect the safety and health of employees, customers, contractors and vendors. These actions include:
· Directing field service representatives who need to enter customers’ homes and businesses to provide service to follow social distancing guidelines and wear protective equipment, when necessary
· Implementing telecommuting for those who can perform their duties remotely
· Utilizing technology to avoid non-essential group settings
· Increasing cleaning frequency at company locations and aggressively sanitizing work areas
· Cancelling facility tours and external meetings
· Limiting guests to business-critical visitations
· Cancelling all non-essential domestic and international business travel
· Asking employees to self-identify, if they have or plan to travel internationally
The company has regularly provided information and updates on the virus to employees, including prevention recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is following the latest developments and updates from public health officials and medical professionals.
About Southern Company Gas Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with approximately 700,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit socogasstag.wpengine.com.
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