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Pepco Partners with American Red Cross, Emergency Management Agencies to Provide Relief Post-Derecho

Pepco Donates $25,000 to American Red Cross

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the wake of the 'derecho' storm that struck the Washington, D.C., region a week ago, the American Red Cross and local emergency management agencies have been providing critical emergency assistance services including providing food, water and shelter to impacted residents.
 
In support of these efforts, Pepco today donated $25,000 to the American Red Cross in the National Capital Region.

"Pepco appreciates greatly the American Red Cross in the National Capital Region and its volunteers and staff who have been tirelessly providing basic needs to those impacted by the violent windstorm that hit the Washington area last week," said Thomas H. Graham, Pepco Region President. "Pepco is pleased to provide financial support to the Red Cross and the critical relief efforts being carried out by the organization."

In response, Linda Mathes, CEO of the American Red Cross in the National Capital Region, said, "The American Red Cross is grateful for the financial support provided by Pepco. Every contribution helps make our services possible. This funding enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, water, emotional support and other assistance in times of great need. On behalf of the American Red Cross, thank you."

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory forecasting a heat index of 105 degrees for the Washington, D.C., region that will remain in effect until 8 tonight.  The extremely high temperatures are predicted through the weekend, with Saturday expected to be the hottest day. Officials from Pepco, the American Red Cross and local emergency management agencies are advising customers to protect themselves from the extreme heat.  The three groups work together closely to prepare for, and jointly respond to, natural disasters that hit the Washington region, whether they be windstorms, blizzards, hurricanes or earthquakes.  In the case of power outages during the summer season, cooling centers become important facilities for resident relief.

 "Cooling centers are critical to helping residents cope who lose power during heat waves," said Prince George's County Director of Emergency Management Ronald Gill.  "We are committed to ensuring the safety of county citizens during emergencies such as the one experienced after last week's wind storm."

Pepco also works closely with fire and police officials to educate them on how to handle emergencies involving electric power.

"The Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security has worked closely with Pepco around emergency response, especially around training first responders on how to handle emergencies involving live power lines," said Chris Voss, Montgomery County Emergency Management.  "Pepco's Emergency Services Partnership Program has made the safety of our first responders a priority."

Cooperation among utilities and emergency management agencies is central to an integrated response to community disasters.

"Although no amount of preparation can prevent catastrophic damage from windstorms such as the one that struck us last Friday, effective collaboration between utilities and the EMA is critical for being able to respond as effectively as possible,"  said Chris Geldart, District of Columbia Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

Below are some tips for coping with the heat from the American Red Cross of the National Capital Area:
  • Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing, wear hats or to use an umbrella.
  • Drink water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine and using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often.
  • Slow down. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.  
  • Be a good neighbor. During heat waves, check on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air conditioning.
  • For more information on coping with the heat, visit the American Red Cross website at www.redcrossnca.org.
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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.
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