September is National Preparedness Month

Storm-Kit-150x150While disasters can be unexpected, there are many ways to prepare before one strikes. September is National Preparedness Month, and we encourage you to educate yourself about emergency preparation, and take steps now to be ready. Here a few ways to become better prepared this September.

Make a Family Plan

If your family doesn’t already have one, make an emergency preparedness plan. All family members, including children, should have your plan memorized. Ready.gov is a great resource for guidelines, and family communication tips.

Assemble a Kit
In the event of an emergency; you could be without resources for an extended period of time. Having an emergency supply kit is essential. Below we’ve provided a checklist to reference when creating your own kit.

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist

  • Water – a three day supply (1 gallon a day per family member)
  • Food – non-perishable items that do not need to be heated
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio
  • Prescription medications
  • Manual can opener
  • Hand tools
  • Extra blankets and bedding
  • List of emergency contact phone numbers

Elderly family members, children and pets may have additional special needs which should be considered when preparing your kit. For example, special medications, games for children or pet food. Consider involving all family members when creating the kit, so everyone is familiar with the supplies. Store your kit in a safe and dry place that is easily accessible.

Preparing for Power Loss
If the power goes out, know how to stay safe. Here are a few tips:

  • Report outages and downed wires by calling 1-877-737-2662 or online at pepco.com, or by downloading our mobile app.
  • Avoid downed wires and working crews
  • Locate your emergency kit
  • Unplug lamps, TVs and appliances
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors shut

For more information about emergency preparedness, please visit pepco.com.

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National Preparedness Month

September marks the tenth annual National Preparedness Month and as an active participant in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready Campaign, we would like to share with you some tips on preparing for emergencies and what to do if you lose power.

Safety Prep kit

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

  • Flashlights and fresh batteries
  • Battery-powered radio or TV and extra batteries
  • Land-line phone with cord (cordless phones require electricity)
  • Battery-powered or windup alarm clock
  • Supply of bottled water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Non-perishable foods that require no heating
  • Blankets, bedding or sleeping bags
  • First-aid kit and prescription medications
  • Hand-operated can opener
  • Special medical or infant supplies
  • A variety of hand tools
  • List of emergency phone numbers

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.

If Power Goes Out
Staying safe during an emergency situation should be your top priority. Here are some ways to stay safe if you lose power:

  • Report outages and downed wires at 1-877-737-2662, online at pepco.com, or using our mobile app.
  • Never go near downed wires and always stay clear of working crews
  • Locate your emergency kit
  • Avoid wet and flooded areas as electricity and water are a dangerous combination
  • Unplug or turn off most lamps, TVs and appliances
  • Keep freezer and refrigerator doors shut
  • In summer, close shades or curtains to keep rooms cooler
  • In winter, let the sun warm rooms during the day; at night close shades or curtains to keep warmth in
  • Be safe around candles/open flames
  • If you are operating a generator, make sure that you follow all safety guidelines

We’ve also created a handbook to help you be prepared before, during and after storms. Please print it and keep it with other essential storm-related items in your home.

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