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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
January 26, 2004

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

Pepco crews are on alert to restore service as needed during this year`s first winter storm. The National Weather Service is predicting a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain later today that could result in ice accumulation, which may cause power outages in the Washington metropolitan area. The company has taken several steps to prepare in the event that weather disrupts service.

Extra repair crews, on duty Sunday night as snow pelted the area, are again being assigned for tonight`s shift. Additional customer service operators have been added to take customer calls and public safety teams are assigned to respond to downed wires.

Hotel rooms were reserved tonight near work locations for linemen and customer service operators assigned to Tuesday`s day shift to avoid having to commute from home in the event travel is hazardous. In addition:

  • 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 and ice 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.
  • 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, k eep 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 .

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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:
Debbi Jarvis

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