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Delmarva Power Eyes New Storm

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Utility Urges Customers to Be Safe

As Delmarva Power prepares for the onset of another major winter storm, the utility urges customers to prepare and put safety first.

Crews continue to work around the clock to restore power to customers whose service was interrupted by the weekend snowstorm. Meanwhile, a new storm is expected to deliver another round of snow, sleet, ice or a combination of the three, along with high-velocity wind gusts. Customers should be especially mindful of the hazards this storm could bring.

“Safety is our number-one priority at all times, and especially during the severe weather we are experiencing this week,” said Gary Stockbridge, Delmarva Power Region President. “In many cases, due to road conditions, our linemen may be walking across yards to access our equipment. For their safety, please mark any hazards that are buried in the snow, like an in-ground swimming pool or a fire hydrant. We also are monitoring the new storm as it develops and preparing to restore service to customers who may lose power. Similarly, we ask our customers to be prepared.”

To help customers stay safe until their power is restored, Delmarva Power offers the following safety guidelines and tips:

Make a plan for what to do if your power goes out.

• If your household includes small children, elderly or frail persons or someone with serious health issues, consider taking shelter somewhere warm—stay with relatives or friends, or go to a hotel. If a member of your household is dependent on electrical medical devices for their well-being, plan to relocate that person to a place of safety that has uninterruptible power. If possible, take action before the storm gains momentum.

Prepare an emergency kit for you and your household - including pets. Make sure it includes:

o Flashlights; fresh batteries; a battery-powered radio and/or television set; and a battery-powered clock.

o A three-day supply of nonperishable food, along with a hand-operated can opener.

o Three gallons of drinking water per person - and per pet.

o Extra tap water for flushing and washing if you rely on well water.

o Extra blankets and sleeping bags in case you lose heat.

o A first-aid kit and extra prescription drugs.

o A telephone with a cord (that plugs into the wall) or a fully charged cell phone to use for emergency calls. Cordless land-line phones will not work when power is out.

Safety Guidelines

Electrical Safety - These storms can bring down power lines across our territory. Assume that all power lines and electrical equipment are “live.”

· Stay away from downed power lines and call 1-800-898-8042 to report downed wires to Delmarva Power. Stay away from standing water, and make sure children and pets are kept safely away.

· Turn off electric appliances and lights; leave one light on so you know when power has been restored.

· 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 ventilation. Blowing and drifting snow can clog such vents and create a fire hazard.

Generators, Fireplaces and Grills

• If you use a generator to supply backup power, operate it safely. Do not operate indoors, in a garage or near doors or windows to avoid exposure to deadly carbon monoxide.

• If possible, appliances should be connected directly to small portable generators by an extension cord rather than through home wiring. Customers should consult the generator’s instruction manual for proper installation, operation and maintenance. The installation should be inspected by a qualified electrician.

• Do not burn charcoal indoors, even if you have a fireplace. Burning charcoal indoors can expose you to deadly carbon monoxide.

• If you use a grill, use it outside. If you use a fireplace, burn only the fuel it was designed for.

Candles and Portable Gas or Kerosene Heaters

Candles can be hazardous and even deadly if not used properly; Delmarva Power does not recommend the use of candles. Portable fuel-burning heaters pose the same dangers as candles.

• Use a battery-powered flashlight, lantern or other device if your lights go out.

• If you do use candles, keep them away from flammable items such as curtains, clothing, papers or other potentially flammable material.

• If you use portable heaters, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the same safety precautions as for candles. In addition, ensure adequate ventilation of any room where such heaters are in operation.

• Never leave candles or heaters unattended - especially around children or pets - and extinguish them carefully before leaving the room.

Food Safety

· Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed; open them only when absolutely necessary. Food will stay frozen for 36-48 hours in a fully loaded freezer if you keep the door closed.

· A half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for 24 hours.

· More information on keeping food safe is available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/NR_032409_01/index.asp.

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