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For Immediate Release

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Pepco Prepared for Winter Weather; Urges Customers to Make Safety a Priority

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2003

Pepco is prepared for the possibility of winter weather conditions forecasted for the Washington, DC metropolitan area over the next few days. The company has taken several steps to prepare in the event that power outages occur:

  • Extra repair crews are being assigned, beginning with tonight's shift, and additional crews will be assigned as weather conditions change. In addition, extra public safety teams are available to respond to downed wires.
  • Warehouse inventories have been checked to assure the availability of poles, transformers, fuses, wires and other material needed to make repairs.
  • Call center shifts will be extended and operators will be added as necessary.
  • Contacts have been initiated with state and local emergency management agencies.

Pepco offers customers the following tips to prepare for the possibility of power outages:

  • All downed power lines should be treated as if they are energized and individuals should not approach or touch them. Call 1-877-PEPCO-62 to report power outages or downed wires.
  • Clear snow away from appliance intake and exhaust vents to maintain proper airflow and ventilation. Blowing and drifting snow can clog such vents and create a hazard.
  • Keep a storm survival kit ready. Include drinking water, non-perishable foods, a battery-powered radio, flashlight and fresh batteries.
  • Customers who need electric-powered life support equipment should have a back-up power source or a relocation plan. Relatives or friends who care for someone who is elderly or infirm should check to make sure back-up plans are in place in case of an unscheduled power outage.
  • Before beginning snow removal, carefully clear accumulated snow from gas and electric facilities, propane and oil tank storage areas, and other phone, cable or utility facilities, fire hydrants and fire-fighting equipment. This includes meters, valves, regulators, piping and other above ground facilities. Clearly mark the cleared facilities to alert snow removal operators of their location.
  • Do not connect portable electric generators to household wiring without properly isolating the home's electrical system from the local power system. This will help minimize the risk of injury or death to others who are near or working on the system. Connect appliances directly to the generator with an outside extension cord.
  • Operate generators according to operator's manual. Run portable generators outside to properly ventilate exhaust.
  • To aid in restoration in the event of a power outage, turn off major appliances, such as washing machines, ovens and stoves. This will help reduce a sudden demand on the system when power is restored.
  • To help prevent food spoilage, keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed; open them only when absolutely necessary. Food will stay frozen for 36 - 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer if you keep the door closed. A half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for 24 hours.
  • Avoid home heat loss by closing off unused rooms.

Pepco strongly urges customers to make safety a priority during inclement weather. If citizens see a downed wire or have a power outage, they should immediately call 1-877-PEPCO-62.

Point of Contact:
Robert Dobkin

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