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Delmarva Power Prepares for Yet Another Weekend Winter Blast

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Utility Urges Customers to Begin Preparation Now

NEWARK , Del. – The National Weather Service predicts a snowstorm will hit our region Friday and continuing through Saturday bringing heavy, wet snow and high winds to the area. Delmarva Power warns that this severe weather has the potential to cause power outages. The utility’s crews are on alert to restore service as quickly and as safely as possible. Delmarva Power encourages customers to report outages and gas emergencies to the company as soon as possible. (See page 2 for company contact numbers.)

Additionally, Delmarva Power offers the following tips to help customers prepare and stay safe:

· Remember: In restoring power, Delmarva Power’s first priority is safety.

· Never touch a downed or damaged power line.

· Do not attempt to move downed or damaged power lines with branches, boards, etc.

· Clear snow away from appliance intake and exhaust vents to maintain proper airflow and ventilation. Blowing and drifting snow can clog such vents and create a hazard.

· Keep a storm survival kit ready. Include drinking water, non-perishable foods, a battery-powered radio, flashlight and fresh batteries.

· Customers who need electric-powered life-support equipment should have a back-up power source or an evacuation plan. Relatives or friends who care for someone who is elderly or infirm should check to make sure back-up plans are in place in case of a power outage. Remember: Delmarva Power cannot guarantee uninterrupted service.

· Before beginning snow removal, carefully clear accumulated snow from gas and electric facilities, propane and oil tank storage areas, and other phone, cable or utility facilities, fire hydrants and fire-fighting equipment. This includes meters, valves, regulators, piping and other above-ground facilities. Clearly mark the cleared facilities to alert snow-removal operators of their location.

· Do not connect portable electric generators to household wiring without properly isolating the home’s electrical system from the local power system. This will help minimize the risk of injury or death to others who are near or working on the system. Connect appliances directly to the generator with an extension cord.

· Operate generators according to the operator’s manual. Run portable generators outside to properly ventilate exhaust. Do not run them, for example, in basements, garages, car ports, near open windows or other areas where exhaust can accumulate.

· To aid in restoration, turn off major appliances, such as washing machines, ovens and stoves. This will help reduce a surge in demand on the system when power is restored.

· To help prevent food spoilage, avoid opening refrigerator and freezer doors during an outage. Remember: Delmarva Power is not liable for losses caused by storm-related power outages or other acts of nature.

· Drivers should slow down , keep a safe distance between vehicles, keep their focus on the road and not be distracted while they are behind the wheel.

· Walkers should be aware of -- and be cautious around -- icy sidewalks, particularly around stairs, curbs and busy lobbies.

· To avoid or minimize back problems or the chance of heart attack, individuals shoveling snow should pace themselves, take frequent breaks, avoid excessively heavy lifting and exercise proper bending and lifting techniques. Let your legs do most of the work, not your lower back.

· If you go outside, wear a heavy coat, a hat and gloves. Keep your skin covered and minimize the chance of frostbite.

If you experience an outage or see a downed or damaged power line, call Delmarva Power:

· Delaware : New Castle County: 1-800-898-8042; Kent and Sussex counties: 1-800-898-8045

· Maryland : Cecil and Harford counties: 1-800-898-8042; Eastern Shore: 1-800-898-8045

· To report a Delmarva natural gas emergency in New Castle County, Del.: 302-454-0317


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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 and Maryland and over 121,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware .