For Immediate Release
For Immediate ReleaseSeptember 15, 2003
Company Asks Customers to Prepare for Possible Power Outages
Pepco is monitoring the progress of Hurricane Isabel and is preparing for the possibility that this powerful storm could affect the Washington Metropolitan Region later this week.
Isabel is capable of causing widespread and extended power outages, particularly in heavily treed areas. Pepco crews and contract crews are prepared to work long hours after the storm passes, restoring service to customers as quickly and as safely as possible. The company also is in contact with other utilities in the region and is arranging to pre-position out-of-state utility crews to quickly move in to assist in restoring service.
With a few days remaining before the storm makes landfall, Pepco urges customers to prepare for the possibility of extended power outages. Customers should have emergency preparedness kits in order, including flashlights, a battery-powered radio with fresh batteries, spare batteries, canned food and a can opener, a supply of fresh water for several days, a first-aid kit, essential medications for those who use prescriptions, diapers and wipes if necessary, pillows and blankets or sleeping bags. Customers with special medical needs are urged to 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. If citizens see a downed wire they should call Pepco at (202) 872-3432 or local authorities and report it. To report a power outage call 1-877- PEPCO-62. 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 electrical contact. Become familiar with evacuation routes and heed authorities if there is an evacuation order.
Customers who use private electrical generators in the event of a power outage should make sure those generators are not connected to Pepco's system. 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. Private generators should be run outdoors and appliances should be connected directly to the generator by an extension cord.
We ask customers whose service has been disrupted to shut off major appliances, such as electric water heaters and air conditioners and leave one light switch on. This will help prevent an overload once power is restored.
Customers with appliances at imminent risk of being affected by flooding should shut off the gas and electric supply to the equipment. If it appears that electric meters that serve the home or business also will be submerged, call Pepco. Before re-lighting appliances, heating or other equipment that has been under water, it is important to have them checked by an appliance dealer or heating customer.
While Pepco tries to minimize inconvenience to individual customers, its first priority 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.
Before reporting a power outage, customers should first check to make sure it is not the result of electrical problems within the home. If there is water damage that could make the home unsafe, call a licensed electrician for assistance. Examine the area outside your home near the electric meter. If the meter or wiring are gone or damaged, call an electrician. If a customer`s power is out, Pepco asks customers to call one time and report the outage to its automated phone reporting system. This will assist the company in restoring service and will allow for a more efficient and orderly process. If power has been restored elsewhere in the neighborhood but not to the customer`s home, the customer should call and report the outage again, as there may be a secondary problem in the neighborhood.
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About Pepco: For more than 100 years, Pepco has served the people of the Washington metropolitan area with clean, reliable and low-cost electricity. Pepco, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides electricity transmission and distribution services to more than 700,000 customers in the District of Columbia and major portions of Prince George`s and Montgomery County in Maryland.
Point of Contact:Robert Dobkin