September is National Preparedness Month

Pepco is an active participant is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready Campaign, and in recognition of National Preparedness Month, I would like to share with you some tips on preparing for emergencies and what to do if you lose power.

Emergencies can range from inconvenient to devastating, and they can happen at any time. However, by taking some simple steps to prepare in advance, you can minimize their impact and make a big difference in ensuring the safety and well-being of you and your family.

Preparing for Emergencies

To prepare for emergency situations, I encourage you to assemble an emergency kit that contains the following items:

  • Flashlight, hand-held radio and battery powered clock with extra batteries for each device
  • Basic first aid kit,
  • Ice pack for cooling or first aid,
  • Insulated cooler
  • List of important and emergency contact numbers
  • A three-day supply of nonperishable food
  • A three-day supply of bottled water (one gallon per household member per day)

Keep this kit in a safe, dry place where you can easily locate it. Many people store these items next to or inside their coolers to save storage space. It’s a good idea to keep extra medications and/or infant supplies, and personal hygiene products such as diapers and toilet paper handy. I also recommend having a telephone with a cord or cell phone to use as backup – cordless telephones require electricity to operate, so they don’t work if there is an outage.

As part of your preparation, it’s important to know what you and your family will do in an emergency situation. Ready.gov provides a helpful template for you to make a plan and share it with each family member. In addition, if you or a family member needs power for critical medical equipment, you should have a contingency plan of where to go if you lose power. You can also register with our Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program, which provides registered customers with advance notice of scheduled outages and severe weather alerts.

What to do if a storm is coming

Emergencies are often unexpected, but in cases where you have advanced notice of a potential emergency event such as a blizzard or a hurricane, you may wish to make these additional preparations:

  • Keep cash on hand, as electric ATMs or credit card readers may lose power
  • If your home is served by well water, fill a bathtub with water for sanitation use.
  • Review these food safety guidelines and make or purchase extra ice
  • Charge electronic devices and make sure that they are plugged into surge protectors
  • Tune in to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.
  • Follow the advice of your local emergency management officials.

What to do if the lights go out

If you lose power during an emergency situation, remember to report all outages and downed wires to Pepco at 1-877-737-2662, online at Pepco.com, or by downloading our mobile app at Pepco.com/mobileapp.  If you or a family member rely on life-supporting equipment, make plans to relocate to a location with power as soon as it is safe to move.

Lastly, stay away from downed power lines and treat them as if they are energized, and steer clear of utility crews working in the street. For more information about emergency preparedness, I encourage you to visit: Ready.gov.

Have a safe and enjoyable fall season.

Mike Nappi
Supervisor, Safety Services

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April is National Safe Digging Month!

Are you planning a home improvement job such as planting a tree, installing a fence or building a deck? Before you start any digging project, big or small, you need to call 811.

This April marks the fifth annual National Safe Digging Month and we want to remind our customers to call 811 a few days before they start any digging project. Failure to do so may result in injury, repair costs, fines and outages. More than 60,000 underground utilities are struck each year in the United States because of failure to call 811 first.

By calling 811, we are notified of your intent to dig and can send somebody out to mark the locations of your underground lines. Always call a few days before you start to allow time for the request to be processed.

Mike Nappi
Supervisor, Safety Services