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Delmarva Power Is Ready for Hurricane Irene

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Extra Field Personnel Dedicated to Power Restoration Customers Urged to Complete Storm Preparations

WILMINGTON , Del. – Delmarva Power has mobilized extra field personnel to assist with what will likely be a multi-day power restoration event. In addition, non-field employees have assumed special storm roles to support the restoration. These roles include damage assessors, crew guides and additional staff to answer customer calls. Delmarva Power is continuing to request mutual assistance from our utility partners located in areas unaffected by this storm. The company is expecting additional crews to arrive over the next few days.

“Restoring power in the wake of Hurricane Irene will involve all personnel at Delmarva Power,” said Gary Stockbridge, President, Delmarva Power Region. “Our first task will be to assess the damage so we can restore power as effectively and safely as possible. Once the expected tropical force winds have subsided, utility crews will hit the streets and begin the assessment and restoration process. We’re ready for the event.”

Government safety regulations do not allow overhead work to be performed in sustained winds of 35 mph or more.

“Our first priority is the safety of our customers and crews,” said Stockbridge. “We urge customers to stay clear of damaged poles and wires hanging loose from poles or lying on the ground. Do not attempt to move them. Customers should call 1-800-898-8042 to report damaged poles and downed wires. Trained crews will handle making the area safe .”

After a severe storm such as Hurricane Irene, assessing damage and estimating when customer power will be restored can take up to 24 hours after the heart of the storm has moved from the area. Delmarva Power will restore service by targeting wires serving critical infrastructure, such as hospitals, fire stations and police stations as well as those serving the greatest number of customers. It is important that customers report their outage and request call backs to verify their power has been restored.

Delmarva Power recommends that custo mers complete their storm preparation by taking the following actions:

  • Visit www.delmarva.com for preparation tips and follow the advice of your local emergency management officials.
  • Assemble an emergency "storm kit," including:
    • A battery-powered radio or television
    • Flashlight
    • A first-aid kit
    • Battery-powered or windup clock
    • Extra batteries
    • Special needs items, such as an insulated cooler
    • A list of important and emergency phone numbers
  • If you or someone you know uses life-support equipment that requires electricity to operate, identify a location with emergency power capabilities and make plans to go there.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply per-person of non-perishable foods and bottled water, as well as a hand-operated can opener.
  • Have a telephone with a cord or cell phone to use as a backup. Cordless telephones require electricity to operate and won't work if there is an outage.
  • Protect your electronic equipment. Unplug sensitive electronics or plug computers and other sensitive equipment into surge suppressors and consider a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for temporary battery backup power.
  • 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.
  • Have adequate prescription medicines or infant supplies on hand.
  • Tune in to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.
  • If you use a personal generator, please take all recommended precautions.
  • Take cover if necessary.
  • Stay away from damaged poles and downed wires. Call 1-800-898-8042 to report a damaged pole or downed wire. To report a natural gas emergency in New Castle County, Del., call 1-302-454-0317.

“A storm of this proportion will present significant challenges. We will continue to provide updates to the media and we encourage customers to be patient and understand that we will restore power when it’s safe to do so. Our entire community is facing a storm of major proportions. The safety of our customers and our crews is our top priority,” concluded Stockbridge.

Additional information may be found at www.delmarva.com .

You can also follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/delmarvaconnect.

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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 .