Pepco Prepares for Summer Storms
Pepco has made preparations for the 2013 hurricane season and reminds customers to prepare for the possibility of destructive tropical weather that could hit the region any time between now and Nov. 30.
A prime example is last year’s June 29 derecho that struck the mid-Atlantic area with wind gusts in excess of 70 miles per hour. The high winds toppled and uprooted trees, knocked down power lines and poles, crushed cars and homes, blocked intersections and brought unprecedented damage to Pepco’s electric system infrastructure leaving more than 443,000 customers without service for several days.
This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts for the six-month hurricane season, beginning June 1, a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). These ranges are well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.
Pepco’s overall storm readiness includes:
1. 150 permanent line personnel,
2. More than 450 contract line personnel ready to respond to emergencies,
3. Since 2010, 5,800 miles of trees trimmed to enhance the reliability of the electric system;
4. Upgraded Web Site and apps to receive customer outage reports and provide the latest restoration information.
Customers can find additional information by visiting www.pepco.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pepcoconnect and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pepcoconnect. Our mobile app is available at www.pepco.com/mobileapp . Also, customers should follow the advice of their local emergency management officials.
“Our Region is experiencing more weather events of different types and severity,” said Thomas H. Graham, president, Pepco Region.” “We will make every effort to improve our emergency restoration process to better meet our customers’ expectations. Regardless of predictions, we also strongly encourage customers to take steps and be ready for any emergency.”
Some immediate tips for Pepco customers are as follows:
• Assemble an emergency storm kit, including:
o Battery-powered radio or television
o Flashlight & Extra batteries
o First-aid kit
o Battery-powered or windup clock
o Special needs items, such as an insulated cooler
o List of important and emergency phone numbers
• 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.
• If using a personal generator, please take all recommended precautions.
• Take cover if necessary.
• Stay away from downed wires. Call 1.877.PEPCO.62 (1-877-737-2662), and follow the prompts to report a downed wire.