For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Pepco is aggressively executing its Incident Response Plan in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, which has the potential of causing devastating damage and power outages lasting several days. Heavy rain and high winds are predicted for the Washington, D.C. metro area over a sustained period. These severe weather conditions could cause widespread and extended power outages as trees heavily covered with leaves may fall on power lines, bringing down spans of wire, breaking poles and damaging other electrical equipment.
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and District of Columbia Mayor Vincent C. Gray have declared states of emergency for their jurisdictions.
Pepco is calling all customers with a recorded message to urge them to prepare for hurricane conditions by reviewing their emergency plans. The company also has reached out to customers who need power for critical medical equipment, urging them to make plans to relocate to a facility with electricity in case of extended outages.
Pepco also is responding to the potential for severe weather:
· Employees are assuming their special storm-response roles.
· Pepco's line personnel are on standby and approximately 400 contract line personnel and 300 contractor tree personnel also are on the system and available for quick mobilization.
· The Call Center begins 24-hour coverage at 7 a.m., Sunday, October 28. Auxiliary
phone representatives are being called in, and mutual assistance partners have been
contacted to provide further support.
· The company is in close contact with state and local emergency management agencies
to ensure a coordinated community response.
On Friday, Pepco Holdings, Inc., Pepco's parent company, requested 2,500 additional line personnel and 400 tree personnel through the utility mutual assistance process to assist restoring service across it service territories. On Saturday, the company increased its request to 3,000 line personnel and 600 tree personnel for PHI, because of increased potential for damage based on the projected path of the storm. More than 550 personnel from southern utilities have committed to assist. The availability of those resources will not be known until the storm path is clearly identified.
Once weather conditions become safe, personnel will be deployed to conduct a damage assessment and begin restoring service. Since Sandy is expected to be a slow moving storm accompanied by high winds, it may be several days before personnel can begin damage assessment and restoration efforts.
In the event severe weather causes widespread damage to the electric system, Pepco repairs equipment that restores the largest number of customers first. This is similar to clearing roads after a snow storm. Major roads and thoroughfares must be cleared first before secondary roads and neighborhood streets are plowed. Generally the sequence is as follows:
o Downed live wires or potentially life-threatening situations and public health and safety facilities without power.
o Transmission lines serving thousands of customers.
o Substation equipment.
o Main distribution lines serving large numbers of customers.
o Secondary lines serving neighborhoods.
o Service lines to individual homes and businesses.
· 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 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 and have a hand-operated can opener available. If you have a pet, make sure there is a supply of food available for them. Be sure to take you pet with you if you have to leave home. Identify pet-friendly motels ahead of time.
· 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 a UPS (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 your power.
· Fill your gas tank so you can run your automobile to charge mobile devices. Be sure to open garage doors using manual controls to run the vehicle safely.
Generator Safety Tips
· If you plan to use a portable generator during power outages, here are important safety precautions:
· Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using a generator.
· Locate your generator in a well-ventilated area. Never run it inside, even in your garage. Gasoline powered generators produce carbon monoxide and the fumes can be deadly. Store gasoline or other flammable liquids outside of living areas in properly marked approved containers. They should also not be stored in a garage if a fuel-burning appliance is located there.
· Plug appliances directly into the generator using heavy-duty, properly grounded extension cords. Make sure extension cords are not frayed or worn.
· Use the generator only when necessary, and don't overload it. Turn it off at night while you sleep and when you are away from home to avoid a possible fire hazard.
· For your safety and the safety of employees working to restore power, do not connect your generator directly into your home's main fuse box or circuit panel. Improperly connected generators can feed electricity back into the electrical system, endangering field personnel working to restore your power. Consult a qualified electrical contractor if a permanent generator installation is desired.
Other Safety Tips
· 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.
· Stay from downed wires. Assume any downed wire is energized.
· Call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) to report downed wires and life-threatening situations.
· To report an outage, call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) or report through our mobile app or our website at www.pepco.com/storm.
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