For Immediate Release
Outages Could be Widespread; Customers Urged to Prepare
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Pepco is closely monitoring the approach of severe thunderstorms that could strike the Pepco service territory today. Weather services are predicting that the Washington Metropolitan Area might experience damaging winds, hail, heavy rains and possibly tornadoes, which could cause widespread and extended power outages.
Pepco is preparing by adding crews, dispatchers and call center personnel; and checking supply inventories.
"Pepco understands that reliable electrical supply is critical to the everyday lives of customers so we have been proactively preparing to restore service as quickly and safely as possible if our area experiences outages from this thunderstorm," said Thomas H. Graham, President, Pepco Region. "It has the potential to cause extensive power outages that could require crews to work around the clock to restore service."
Pepco Mobilizes Crews and Staff
In anticipation of the storm, Pepco has increased the number of crews, dispatchers and call center staff.
Depending on the severity of the storm, damage to Pepco's electrical infrastructure could be extensive. After severe storms, assessing damage and estimating when customers will be restored could take hours after the heart of the storm has moved from the area. Crews are deployed to restore service only when weather conditions become safe. Crews are restricted from working on overhead power lines during adverse weather conditions such as thunderstorms in the immediate vicinity, snowstorms, ice storms and sustained high winds of 40 miles per hour (30 mph if the work involves installing or replacing materials).
Customers Urged to Prepare and Be Safe
Pepco urges its customers to prepare for potential power outages and act to ensure their safety. Here are some tips:
· Have adequate prescription medicines or infant supplies on hand.
· If you or someone you know uses life-support equipment that requires electricity to operate, identify a location with emergency power capabilities and make plans to go there or to a hospital during a prolonged outage.
· Assemble an emergency storm kit. Include a battery-powered radio or television, flashlight, a first-aid kit, battery-powered or windup clock, extra batteries, special needs items, an insulated cooler and a list of important and emergency phone numbers.
· Keep at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods and bottled water per person and have a hand-operated can opener available.
· Have a telephone with a cord or cell phone to use as a backup. Cordless telephones require electricity to operate, and won't work if there is an outage.
· Protect your electronic equipment. Unplug sensitive electronics or plug computers and other sensitive equipment into surge suppressors, and consider an uninterruptible power supply for temporary battery backup power.
· Turn off power to flood-prone basement appliances if it is safe to do so. However, if you have an electrically operated sump pump, you should not turn off the power to it.
· Download the Pepco self-service app by visiting pepco.com/mobileapp on mobile devices or tablets. The app will allow customers to report outages and track restoration estimates.
· Stay away from downed wires. Call 1-877-Pepco-62 and follow the prompts to report a downed wire or an outage.
· Avoid crews working in the street. This will keep you and the crews safe and allow them to work on restoring your power.
· Tune in to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.
· Follow the advice of your local emergency management officials.
· Take cover if necessary.
To keep up to date, customers are encouraged to visit pepco.com frequently, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PepcoConnect, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PepcoConnect and listen to local radio stations for updates.
Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 788,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.