For Immediate Release
Pepco is preparing for possible freezing rain and ice forecast for the Washington metropolitan area later today and overnight. The company is monitoring weather forecasts and has implemented staffing plans to ensure a speedy response if power outages occur.
"We are getting ready for what we expect the weather to bring," said Pepco Region President Thomas Graham. "Our crews are scheduled and are prepared to restore service as quickly and safely as possible."
Pepco repair crews have been assigned to 12-hour shifts on an around-the-clock basis along with contract crews that normally work on the Pepco system. Additional contractors will be added. Pepco storm managers contacted other East Coast utilities to assess the availability of mutual-aid crews to assist with potential restoration work. Additional customer service operators have been added to take customer calls and public safety teams will be assigned to respond to downed wires.
Ice storms can be among the most destructive events affecting a utility's electrical distribution system. The weight of ice on trees and utility equipment can bring down power lines and poles, requiring a virtual rebuilding of parts of the system.
If Power Goes OutCustomers are being asked to call Pepco at 1-877-Pepco-62 to report outages-even if their neighbor may have already called. Pepco's automated outage reporting system is the most effective way to report an outage because it immediately feeds information into computers that more rapidly identify problem areas and dispatch repair crews, so that power can be restored more quickly.
In the first 48 hours after a severe storm, restoration times are difficult to predict. If customers are without power or heat, they may want to consider moving themselves and their families-especially those with special needs-to an alternate location during an extended outage.
Customers can prepare ahead for the possibility of power outages associated with an ice storm by assembling an Emergency Storm Kit including:• Flashlights and fresh batteries • Battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries • Land line phone with cord (Cordless phones require electricity to operate)• Battery-powered or windup alarm clock • A supply of bottled water (one gallon per person per day) • Non-perishable foods that require no heating • Blankets, bedding, or sleeping bags and a change of clothes • First Aid Kit and prescription medications • Hand-operated can opener • Special items for infants, the elderly or family members with special needs • Hand tools such as a hammer, screwdriver; scissors; duct tape; plastic garbage bags; paper and pencil; waterproof matches; household bleach • Identification and copies of important family documents in a waterproof container • Emergency Services and Pepco telephone numbers• Plug computers and other sensitive equipment into surge suppressors, and consider a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for temporary battery backup power.
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.