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For Immediate Release

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Pepco Ready for Summer Heat and Hurricane Season

WASHINGTON,D.C. -Pepco announced today that it has another new tool to help customers in case of severe storms - a mobile command vehicle that will assist in dispatching crews and assisting people if hurricanes or major storms hit.

The command vehicle will complement the work Pepco has invested in recent years to make the power grid serving 2.3 million people more resilient than ever. And it comes two months after Pepco's merger with Exelon, which creates a new source of shared resources and work crews to assist in case of emergencies.

"One bad storm can cause widespread property damage and outages," said Dave Velazquez, president and CEO Pepco Holdings, Pepco's parent firm.  "That's why we continue to enhance the reliability of our electric system, including updating our storm readiness with a new mobile command vehicle to be dispatched to neighborhoods in need."

During the last two years, Pepco has spent nearly $815 million on reliability efforts intended to prevent outages caused by weather. In recent years, that investment has paid off, as the record-setting winter storm Jonas in January caused only isolated outages for Pepco customers.

AccuWeather, a private weather forecast service, predicts that at least three named storms making landfall in the United States during the 2016 Hurricane Season.  

Pepco's mobile command vehicle:

  • Allows responders to move an incident management team from the office to the field and to set up a unified command in the community for more efficient electric system restoration and customer and community relations,
  • Provides the community with a centralized prominent location to obtain timely and accurate information;
  • And is equipped to dispatch crews to areas where they can most benefit customers.

Pepco's overall 2015 storm readiness includes advanced metering technology that limits the amount of times it is necessary to send a truck with a crew to inspect an individual customer's service. Pepco's control center is now able to view metered service remotely, which reduces the company's carbon footprint and reaches larger known outages sooner.

Pepco encourages customers to download the company's mobile app, which is available at www.pepco.com/mobileapp and which provides immediate updates on outages and estimated times for power restoration.

Some immediate tips to help Pepco customers to prepare are:

  • Assemble an emergency storm kit, including:

      o   Battery-powered radio or television

      o   Flashlight

      o   First-aid kit

      o   Battery-powered or windup clock

      o   Extra batteries

      o   Special needs items, such as an insulated cooler

      o   A list of important and emergency phone numbers

      o   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.

  • Keep at least a three-day supply per person of non-perishable foods and bottled water, as well as a hand-operated can opener.
  • 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.       
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Have adequate prescription medicines or infant supplies on hand.
  • Tune to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information and follow the advice of their local emergency management officials.

If using a personal generator, please take all recommended precautions, including:

  • Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage. A portable generator is an internal combustion engine that exhausts a deadly gas called carbon monoxide or CO.
  • Be sure to place the generator outside where exhaust fumes will not enter into enclosed spaces.
  • Don't connect your generator directly to your home's wiring. If a generator is plugged into the electrical circuits of a home, it can back feed power into the utility company lines, which can injure or kill utility workers fixing downed power lines. It also can cause downed lines to re-energize.

            Customers should always stay away from downed wires. Call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662), and follow the prompts to report a downed wire. Additional information on storm preparedness can be found by visiting www.pepco.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pepcoconnect and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pepcoconnect.

© Potomac Electric Power Company, 2019. All Rights Reserved.