For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Pepco has made preparations for the 2014 hurricane season and reminds customers to prepare for the possibility of destructive tropical weather that could hit the region any time between now and Nov. 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a near-normal or below-normal 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.
For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA predicts a 70 percent chance of eighth to 13 storms with winds of 39 mph or higher. Three to six of those storms could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher, including 1 to 2 major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher.
"Pepco has greatly enhanced the reliability of our electric system, but customers should always take steps and be ready for any emergency," said Donna Cooper, president, Pepco Region. "Today's announcement kicks off our efforts to remind customers of the potential severity of summer weather events and efforts that should be taken to mitigate the impact."
A prime example is the June 29, 2012 derecho that struck the mid-Atlantic area with wind gusts in excess of 70 miles per hour. The high winds toppled and uprooted trees, knocked down power lines and poles, crushed cars and homes, and brought unprecedented damage to Pepco's electric system infrastructure. Pepco's overall 2014 storm readiness includes:
Customers can find additional information on storm preparedness by visiting www.pepco.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pepcoconnect and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pepcoconnect. Our mobile app is available at www.pepco.com/mobileapp. Also, customers should follow the advice of their local emergency management officials.
Some immediate tips for Pepco customers to prepare are as follows:
1. Assemble an emergency storm kit, including:
2. For people using life-support equipment that requires electricity to operate, please identify a location with emergency power capabilities and make plans to go there.
3. Keep at least a three-day supply per person of non-perishable foods and bottled water, as well as a hand-operated can opener.
4. Have a telephone with a cord or a cell phone to use as a backup. Cordless telephones require electricity to operate and won't work if there is an outage.
5. Protect 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.
6. Turn off power to flood-prone basement appliances if it is safe to do so. However, if using an electrically operated sump pump, the customer should not turn off the power.
7. Have adequate prescription medicines or infant supplies on hand.
8. Tune to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.
9. If using a personal generator, please take all recommended precautions. Take cover if necessary.
10. Stay away from downed wires. Call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662), and follow the prompts to report a downed wire.