We’re one day closer to Hurricane Irene nearing our service territory. According to the National Weather Service, the storm track is moving more inland than it was yesterday. That means the potential that the storm impacts our electrical infrastructure has increased and the possibility of a widespread, multi-day restoration effort is there.
Weather services are predicting possible flooding rain and damaging winds from Saturday through Sunday. Because of that, assessing damage and estimating when customers will be restored could take time after the heart of the storm has moved from the area.
In yesterday’s post, I covered what the company is doing in preparation. In short, the major take away is that we are getting in front of the storm and its possible impact on our infrastructure. We currently have nearly 1,000 personnel dedicated to restoration. That number reflects internal and external resources. We’ve also scheduled extended shifts for Pepco crews, Customer Service Reps & additional support staff.
Note: Pepco continues to participate on Mid-Atlantic Mutual Assistance and Southeastern Electric Exchange conference calls with other utilities to request additional field crew assistance.
Since then, we have started to reach out to customers who have registered with the company as needing electricity for critical medical equipment, such as life-support equipment. We are also urging those customers to review their plans, check supplies and take appropriate action to ensure their safety and well being in case they experience an outage.
Though in yesterday’s post I included a few measures customers can take to help prepare for the storm, it doesn’t hurt to reiterate it. We’re urging customers to prepare for potential power outages and act to ensure their safety. Here are the 10 top tips:
- Have adequate prescription medicines or infant supplies on hand.
- Identify a location with emergency power capabilities and make plans to go there or to a hospital during a prolonged outage if you or someone you know uses life-support equipment that requires electricity to operate.
- Assemble an emergency “storm kit.” (i.e. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Tune in to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.
- Follow the advice of your local emergency management officials.
- Stay away from downed wires. Report them by calling 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) and pressing “2”
- Report any outage by calling 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) and pressing “1” for the automated system.
‘Til the next post,