• Preparing for Severe Weather

  • Violent storms are more frequent in a changing world, and it is essential to be prepared. For all of us at Pepco, that means planning thoroughly before weather threatens, responding quickly when a storm hits, and restoring power as safely and quickly as possible in the event of an outage.

    When the weather is nice it's easy not to give a second thought to preparing for storms. But thinking ahead can give you peace of mind when weather turns threatening.

    We want to help you be prepared before, during and after storms. 

    Hurricanes 

    Hurricanes normally strike during the summer and fall, particularly along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast. These massive storms can bring rains, flooding and destructive winds with speeds of up to 190 miles per hour.

    Tornadoes 

    Tornadoes are strong, spinning wind tunnels that can travel across land and water. They are also called twisters or cyclones. These storms can take down or remove utility lines and disrupt power.

    Thunderstorms

    A thunderstorm may have heavy rains, strong winds, thunder or lightning. These can all disrupt power lines or strike poles, which may cause temporary outages.

    Winter StormS

    High winds, heavy snow and icy conditions can cause downed power lines or vehicle collisions with poles that may lead to temporary service outages.

    Overview

    Every day, we work hard to provide you with safe, economical and reliable electric service but, despite our best efforts, occasional power outages are unavoidable and it is essential to be prepared.

    Here are some things you can do right now:

    Develop and practice an emergency plan with everyone in your household.

    Make sure that everyone in your household knows what to do in the event of an outage, especially unplanned outages caused by severe weather, including where to find your emergency storm kit. You can find more information on becoming prepared for a storm outage by reviewing our Storm Handbook.

    Assemble an emergency storm kit containing:

    • 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
     

    Ensure your contact information is up to date with us

    Please check to make sure your current telephone number is displayed on your Delmarva account so that our automated Outage Management System (OMS) system can identify you and record your outage when you call. You can update your information by calling 1-800-375-7117.

    Know Your Back-Up Plan for Life-Support Equipment

    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 or to a hospital during a prolonged outage. If you have not done so previously, please contact our customer care service center at 1-800-375-7117 to enroll in our Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program.

    When a Storm Approaches, Prepare for Unplanned Outages

    To prepare for possible power outage when a storm is approaching:

    • Fill your bathtub with water if your water supply depends on electricity
    • Make sure cell phones are charged
    • Protect and unplug electronic equipment
    • During a hurricane, tape up your windows
    • During a tornado, take shelter immediately in the nearest substantial building. Go to the building's basement, or if there is no basement, move to a small, windowless interior room.
    • Clear snow away from appliance vents located outside your residence to ensure the proper operation of heaters, water heaters, natural gas fireplaces, clothes dryers and gas and electric meters
     

    Staying safe during a storm should be your top priority. Here are some ways to stay safe when a storm hits:

    • Locate your emergency storm kit
    • Tune in to local news broadcasts
    • Never go near downed wires and always stay clear of working crews
    • Avoid wet and flooded areas as electricity and water are a dangerous combination
     

    Stay Safe During an Outage

    If your power does go out, these are the key steps to take:

    • Call the emergency service number, 1-800-898-8042 to report outages, downed lines, and other safety hazards, including burning wires and struck poles. Call 911 only if there is an associated emergency such as a fire, automobile accident or, if medical assistance is required
    • 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

    You can also download and print our Weathering the Storm Fact Sheet.