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Delmarva Prepared for Possible Ice Storm, Customers Urged to Prepare

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Newark, DE – Delmarva Power is preparing for possible freezing rain and ice forecast for
the area overnight and into Wednesday.  The company is monitoring weather forecasts and has implemented staffing plans to ensure a speedy response if power outages occur.

“We are getting ready for what we expect the weather to bring,” said Delmarva Power Region President Gary Stockbridge.  “In the event of an outage, our crews are scheduled and are prepared to restore service as quickly and safely as possible.”

Delmarva Power storm managers have contacted other utilities to assess the availability of mutual-aid crews to assist with potential restoration work.  Additional customer service operators have been added to take customer calls. 

Ice storms can be among the most destructive events affecting a utility’s electrical distribution system.  The weight of ice on trees and utility equipment can bring down power lines and poles, requiring a virtual rebuilding of parts of the system.

 If Power Goes Out
Customers are being asked to call Delmarva Power at 1-800-898-8042 to report outages—even if their neighbor may have already called.  Delmarva Power’s automated outage reporting system is the most effective way to report an outage because it immediately feeds information into computers that more rapidly identify problem areas and dispatch repair crews, so that power can be restored more quickly.

For Delmarva Power customers who may use generators during an outage it is important to follow all safety instructions.  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 used indoors, in an attached garage or near windows and doors. Individual appliances should be plugged into the generator using appropriately sized, outdoor-rated cords.

DON’T TOUCH THE WIRES
If the storm damages or brings down any wires treat them as if they were “live” and do not touch them. Call Delmarva Power immediately at 1-800-898-8042 in New Castle County (DE), Harford and Cecil Counties (MD) .

In the first 48 hours after a severe storm, restoration times are difficult to predict.  If customers are without power or heat, they may want to consider moving themselves and their families—especially those with special needs—to an alternate location during an extended outage.

Customers can prepare ahead for the possibility of power outages associated with an ice storm by assembling an Emergency Storm Kit including:
• Flashlights and fresh batteries
• Battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries
• Land line phone with cord (Cordless phones require electricity to operate)
• Battery-powered or windup alarm clock
• A supply of bottled water (one gallon per person per day)
• Non-perishable foods that require no heating
• Blankets, bedding, or sleeping bags and a change of clothes
• First Aid Kit and prescription medications
• Hand-operated can opener
• Special items for infants, the elderly or family members with special needs
• Hand tools such as a hammer, screwdriver; scissors; duct tape; plastic garbage bags; paper and pencil; waterproof matches; household bleach
• Emergency Services and Delmarva Power telephone numbers
• Plug computers and other sensitive equipment into surge suppressors, and consider a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for temporary battery backup power.

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Editors Note: refer to Delmarva Power's website (www.delmarva.com) for information on electrical safety, energy saving tips, bill payment options and power outage updates.

Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe and reliable energy to more than 500,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and over 118,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware.