Pepco Prepares for Tropical Storm Hanna. Customers Asked to Prepare for Possible Power Outages
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Washington, D.C. - Pepco today scheduled field crews for work this weekend in advance of Tropical Storm Hanna, which is forecast to strike the mid-Atlantic region Saturday with heavy rain and wind. Tropical storms can cause widespread power outages by downing trees and blowing limbs and debris into power lines. In addition to Hanna, Pepco’s emergency management team has been monitoring the path of two other tropical storms churning in the Atlantic.
A full complement of Pepco linemen and contractors will be available for power restoration and the call center will be fully staffed. Customers should call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) to report the location of their outage and any downed power lines.
Customers should have emergency preparedness kits, including flashlights, a battery-powered radio with fresh batteries, spare batteries, non-perishable food, a can opener, a supply of fresh water for at least three days, a first-aid kit, essential medications for those who use prescriptions, diapers and wipes if necessary, and pillows and blankets or sleeping bags. Customers with special medical needs should make arrangements for assistance if they are unable to be without power for more than a few hours.
Pepco strongly encourages customers to make safety a priority. Stay away from downed power lines. All downed lines should be treated as if they are energized. And individuals should not approach them or touch them.
Pepco Crews Called In…
Keep away from flooded areas and stay indoors. Remember, electricity and water is a dangerous combination. Even wading in a shallow puddle or flooded basement that is exposed to an energized line could cause a harmful or potentially fatal electrical contact.
Customers who use a generator in the event of a power outage should ensure the generator is not connected to the power grid. This will prevent generators from inadvertently feeding back into the system and posing a risk to repair crews who are working on the system and to any customers who may be exposed to downed lines. Customers should refrain from connecting generators to their home circuit breakers or fuse boxes. Generators should be run outdoors to avoid odorless, but deadly carbon monoxide fumes from seeping into the home. Appliances should be connected directly to the generator by an extension cord.
Customers whose service has been interrupted are asked to shut off major appliances, such as electric water heaters and air conditioners and to leave one light switch in the “on” position. This will help prevent an overload when power is restored.
While Pepco works to minimize inconvenience to individual customers, its first priority in restoring power is to eliminate any life-threatening conditions such as downed wires and to restore service to critical public services, such as hospitals, police, fire, communications, water and sewer and transportation services. The next priority is to make repairs that can restore service to the largest groups of customers at one time. Crews then focus on repairs that affect individual homes and businesses.
Additional information is available online at www.pepco.com.
Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 750,000 customers in the District of Columbia and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.