Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program
We care about our customers and recognize that some face special challenges. For customers who rely on electricity to power life-support equipment in their homes, such as respirators or kidney dialysis machines, Delmarva Power offers the Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program. This program provides advance notice of scheduled outages and severe weather alerts to customers who depend on electricity for emergency medical and life-support equipment.
Services available to qualified participants who enroll in this program include:
- an information package sent annually to help you prepare for emergencies,
- notification of scheduled outages in your area, and
- notification of severe storms such as hurricane warnings that could lead to extended outages on our electric system.
Please note that since special needs customers are located throughout our service area, it is not possible to provide restoration priority to these customers following storm outages. It is the customer's responsibility to make appropriate arrangements in case restoration is delayed.
Program participants must have certification from a licensed physician that a medical need exists.
If you have life support equipment in your home, you and your physician must complete the required on the appropriate certification form and fax or mail it to Delmarva Power. If you are a Delaware resident, see attached DE certification form. If you are a Maryland resident, see attached MD certification form. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept submittal of these forms via email. The fax number for submitting your completed certification form is 888-254-1239, or you may mail the form to us at:
5 Collins Dr, Ste 2133
Carneys Point NJ 08069
For more information, download or call and request our brochure, Emergency Medical Equipment Program.
Once a customer is enrolled, Delmarva Power will send out a confirmation letter and a package of information to help customers with special medical needs plan for emergencies.
Scheduled Outage Notification
Scheduled outages occur when Delmarva Power plans ahead to turn the power off to a part of the electric system in order to perform maintenance or construction on that section of line. Once customers are enrolled in the Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program, they would be given as much advance notice as possible of any scheduled outages that might affect their electric service.
Severe Storm Notification
We cannot guarantee advance notice of outages in the event of a storm emergency or any other unplanned outage, but when possible we will provide notification of the potential for widespread outages due to forecasted severe weather or other potential system problems.
When a severe weather alert such as a hurricane warning is posted for our service area, Delmarva Power will telephone customers who are enrolled in our Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program. The message will remind participants that there is a potential for widespread outages and they should prepare to implement their storm contingency plan if extended outages occur.
Plan Ahead for Emergencies
Occasional power outages are unavoidable and we encourage all customers to plan ahead for storms or any type of emergency situation.
It is important that customers with special medical needs or their caregivers take responsibility to make arrangements ahead of time to prepare for potentially long-lasting interruptions in electric service. Because customers who depend on life-support equipment are spread throughout all parts of our service area, it is not possible to provide restoration priority to individual medical needs customers when there are power outages.
Customers who use life-support equipment that requires electricity to operate should identify a location with emergency power capabilities, and make plans ahead of time to go there or to a health care facility during a prolonged outage. One alternative would be to ask a relative or friend who has power if you can stay with them. Another option is to research whether or not a portable generator is appropriate for your situation. Contact your physician to discuss other alternatives. Customers who experience medical distress due to a power outage should seek medical assistance.
Whatever the cause of a power outage, we understand the inconvenience and hardship that loss of power presents, and greatly appreciate your patience as we work to restore service as quickly and safely as possible.
What You Can Do Now
Planning ahead is essential for everyone. Here are some things you can do right now to prepare:
- Assemble a “storm kit.” Include a battery-operated radio or television, flashlight, a first-aid kit, battery-powered or windup clock, extra batteries, an insulated cooler and a list of important and emergency phone numbers.
- Keep at least a 3-day supply of nonperishable foods and bottled water and have a hand operated can opener available.
- Check your supplies of medications, prescription drugs and any special health need items such as contact lens supplies or infant supplies.
- Make a plan and gather supplies for your pet or service animal.
- Make sure you 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.
- Protect your electronic equipment. Plug computers and other sensitive equipment into surge suppressors, and consider a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for temporary battery back-up power.
If you see a downed power line, stay away from it. Assume that all downed power lines are live and extremely dangerous. Don’t touch any person or object that is in contact with a power line; the current could flow through you, causing serious injury or death. Immediately call the emergency service number listed for your area. Call 911 if there is an emergency such as a fire or for medical assistance.
- Never attempt to remove trees or limbs from any utility line. Assume all objects touching a power line are energized.
- If you have a flooded basement in your home, never attempt to turn off power or operate circuit breakers while standing in water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is restoration priority given to customers on life support?
Special needs customers, including those who rely on life-support equipment, are located in neighborhoods everywhere throughout our service area. During a major power outage, it is not possible to correct problems at individual locations before main substations and power lines are restored.
Our restoration process uses a system of priorities that have been developed taking into account public safety, community needs and the nature of the electric distribution system.
Generally, the sequence is as follows:
- Downed live wires or potentially life-threatening situations and public health and safety facilities without power,
- Transmission lines serving thousands of customers,
- Substation equipment,
- Main distribution lines serving large numbers of customers,
- Secondary lines serving neighborhoods,
- Service lines to individual homes and businesses.
Individuals with special needs are therefore urged to make emergency arrangements ahead of time to prepare for extended outages when a major storm threatens.
When the power is out, what is the best way to protect my food and refrigerated medicine?
The best way to protect food and medicine is with regular ice in an insulated cooler. Ice is inexpensive, easy to use and readily available from a number of retail sources. It is also the best way to preserve medicines that must be refrigerated.
What can you tell me about portable generators?
The most important consideration is safety - improper use of portable generators can be deadly due to the carbon monoxide from the generator exhaust and the potential for electrical shock from improperly connecting the generator to a home wiring system. Portable generators should never be operated indoors, in an attached garage or near open windows and doors. Individual appliances should be plugged into the generator using appropriately sized, outdoor-rated cords.
If you plan to connect a generator to your home wiring, first have an electrician install a transfer switch in accordance with National Electric Code requirements to prevent electricity from feeding back into electric lines. Failure to properly connect your generator to your house wiring could cause back feed on our power lines and endanger our line workers and others. Never plug a portable generator into an electrical outlet in your home.
If you decide a generator is right for you, determine how many appliances you will run at the same time and select your generator based on the total wattage required, including appliance motor start-up requirements. Compare brands and models, determine where you will store the generator, and see your generator dealer for assistance selecting a model that is the right size for your needs. And remember, most portable generators will not run your central air conditioner or electric heat pump.
Federal, state and local emergency management agencies provide useful information on emergency preparedness.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
American Red Cross
For the latest information during a storm, go to our Storm Center.