For Immediate Release
With tons of debris from the 2005 hurricane season still littering portions of the Gulf Coast , forecasters are telling us to get ready for another rough year. Meteorologists are predicting an above-average 2006 season with 17 named storms, nine hurricanes and five intense hurricanes. Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30.
"The probability of at least one of those predicted Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricanes hitting the east coast and potentially impacting the Washington , D.C. , area is up significantly this year according to the National Hurricane center," warns Mike Maxwell, Vice President of Emergency Preparedness for Pepco. "We've all seen the devastation caused by last year's hurricanes and it points to the importance for everyone to have a family emergency plan in place," says Maxwell. "Pepco is taking steps to prepare for bad weather and we suggest our customers do as well."
Any family plan should include finding the safest areas in your home during an emergency and in your community if you need to evacuate, and must include an emergency supply kit. Visit the "Emergency Preparedness" page at www.pepco.com for specific information on what should go into that emergency kit plus other tips on preparing for emergencies. The basics include plenty of batteries along with flashlights and battery-operated radio, bottled water, non-perishable food, a hand operated can opener, copies of important documents in a watertight resealable plastic bag and first aid items. A good place to store your kit is in a cooler; it will keep everything together and can be used during an emergency to help with short-term food storage.
"This kit should contain what your family would need to be self-sufficient for a minimum of three days. Those three days are necessary to allow emergency responders to assess the damage and the impacts of the storm and then organize needed services," Maxwell cautions.
The Weather Research Center says that while the highest risk for landfalls of this year's hurricanes remains along the Southeast Coast , everyone living near the Atlantic coast should be prepared to deal with the aftermath of a damaging storm. In a recent press release, the Center's meteorologists pointed out that one thing we learned from last year's storms is the need for all of us to take responsibility for ourselves and our families. And prepare.
Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 745,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia .