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Delmarva Power Readies For Tropical Storm Hanna Customers Asked to Prepare for Possible Power Outages

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Delmarva Power is monitoring the progress of Tropical Storm Hanna, preparing for the likelihood the storm will affect the Mid-Atlantic region on Saturday. This storm is forecast to carry high winds and heavy rain and could cause power outages. Such outages can be caused from a variety of factors including downed trees and limbs or other debris blown onto power lines. Safety and preparedness are critical not just for this storm but for other tropical systems that Delmarva Power is closely watching in the Atlantic Ocean, which could ultimately make landfall on the east coast of the United States.

PREPARATION
Customers should have an emergency preparedness kit, including flashlights, a battery-powered radio with fresh batteries, spare batteries, non-perishable food and a can opener, a supply of fresh water for at least three days, a first-aid kit, essential medications for those who use prescriptions, diapers and wipes if necessary, pillows and blankets or sleeping bags. Customers with special medical needs should evaluate their situations, review their plans and, if necessary, make arrangements for assistance if they are unable to be without power for more than a few hours.

SAFETY
Delmarva Power strongly encourages customers to make safety a priority. Stay away from downed power lines. All downed lines should be treated as if they are energized. And individuals should not approach them or touch them. If citizens see a downed wire they should report it to Delmarva Power. In New Castle County, Delaware or Cecil or Harford counties, Maryland, call (800) 898-8042. In Kent or Sussex counties, Delaware, or the Eastern Shore of Maryland, call (800) 898-8045. To report a Natural Gas emergency in New Castle County, Delaware, call (302) 454-0317. Citizens also may call local authorities to report an emergency. Keep away from flooded areas and stay indoors. Remember, electricity and water are a dangerous combination. Even wading in a shallow puddle or flooded basement that is exposed to an energized line could cause a harmful or potentially fatal electrical contact.

GENERATORS
Customers who use private electrical generators in the event of a power outage should make sure those generators are not connected to Delmarva Power’s system. This will prevent generators from inadvertently feeding back into the system and posing a risk to repair crews who are working on the system and to any customers who may be exposed to downed lines. Customers should refrain from connecting generators to their home circuit breakers or fuse boxes. Private generators should be run outdoors to avoid the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. Appliances should be connected directly to the generator by an extension cord.

APPLIANCES
Delmarva Power asks customers whose service has been interrupted to shut off major appliances, such as electric water heaters and air conditioners and to leave one light switch in the “on” position. This will help prevent an overload when power is restored.

PRIORITIES
While Delmarva Power tries to minimize inconvenience to individual customers, its first priority in restoring power is to eliminate any life-threatening conditions such as downed wires and to restore service to critical public services, such as hospitals, police, fire, communications, water and sewer and transportation services. The next priority is to make repairs that can restore service to the largest groups of customers at one time. Crews then focus on repairs that affect individual homes and businesses.

For more information go to www.delmarva.com/home/emergency/.

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Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe and reliable energy to approximately 500,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware and Maryland and more than 121,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware.