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Stay Safe During Heavy Rainstorms, Flooding

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Newark, DE – According to the National Weather Service, as the remnants of tropical storm Ernesto pass by, the Delmarva Power service territory could experience more heavy rains over the next several days.

Strong storms and heavy rains can also cause extended power outages. It is important to be prepared for the loss of power in your home when severe weather hits. Most importantly, Delmarva Power wants its customers to stay safe when storms or flooding occur and impact their daily lives.

Below are some indoor electrical safety tips to keep in mind when preparing for – or experiencing – heavy rainstorms:

• Keep electrical appliances away from wet areas and bathtubs, sinks and hot tubs.
• Never use any electric appliance on a wet surface, while wet or standing in water. Make sure your hands are dry when using an appliance.
• Unplug an appliance that has fallen into water before attempting to retrieve it.
• Unplug sensitive electronics and turn off power to flood-prone basement appliances, if it is safe to do so. However, if you have an electrically-operated sump pump, you should not turn off your power.
• If you have a flooded basement in your home, never attempt to turn off power or operate circuit breakers while standing in water.
• Fill your bathtub with water, if your water supply depends on electricity.
• Keep several flashlights around the house.
• Always have extra batteries and make sure they are fresh. Candles and matches must be used with extreme care and should never be left unattended.
• Own a battery-powered radio to hear news bulletins.
• Keep bottled water on hand.
• Keep canned and other non-perishable foods available.
• Own a manual can opener.

If customers experience a power outage, they should consider:
• Turning off all appliances, including your furnace, air conditioner, water heater and water pump to avoid a circuit overload. Also, another outage could occur if power is restored to all appliances at once.
• Leaving on one lamp so you'll know when the power is restored.
It is also important to keep these outdoor safety tips in mind when severe weather hits:
• Never attempt to remove trees or limbs from any utility line. Assume all objects touching a power line are energized.
• If you use a portable generator during a power outage, always operate it outside, away from doors and windows to avoid deadly carbon monoxide.
• For your safety and the safety of Delmarva Power employees working to restore power, do not connect your generator directly into your home's main fuse box or circuit panel. Improperly connected generators can feed electricity back into the electrical system, endangering field personnel working to restore your power. Consult a qualified electrical contractor if a permanent generator installation is desired.
To report a power outage or downed wire, call:
• 1-800-898-8042 in New Castle County (DE) and Cecil and Harford counties (MD)
• 1-800-898-8045 in Kent and Sussex counties (DE) and Eastern Shore of MD and VA
• For gas emergencies (New Castle County, De ONLY), call 302-454-0317

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Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe, reliable and affordable regulated electric and natural gas delivery services to more than 500,000 customers in Delaware and along the eastern shores of Maryland and Virginia.