For Immediate Release
Hurricane Season Begins Today
OCEAN CITY , Md. - Delmarva Power today joined area emergency services officials in urging the public to be prepared to cope with the problems associated with severe weather that could occur over the next several months. The officials made their remarks during a news conference at the Public Safety Building in Ocean City, Md.
Meteorologists are predicting an above-normal hurricane season with up to 18 named storms, with six to 10 becoming hurricanes and three to six turning into major hurricanes. Hurricane season begins today and runs through November 30.
"When storms threaten our service territory we increase our staffing levels, adjust resources as needed and work with local governments through our Emergency Services Partnership Program to activate emergency procedures," said Matt Likovich, spokesman for Delmarva Power. "Delmarva Power is committed to an emergency response system that makes safety a priority, restores power as quickly as possible and provides customers with information on how to prepare for and deal with weather-related outages."
Delmarva Power employees participate in emergency drills in order to be prepared for the possibility of storm-related power outages. The company maintains supplies of essential equipment, such as poles, wires and transformers, and stays in contact with area utilities to arrange mutual assistance in case of a natural disaster.
"Preventive maintenance of our infrastructure also helps lessen the potential for outages caused by stormy weather," said Likovich. "Each year we invest approximately $120 million in upgrades to older electric equipment and $23 million on installation of new equipment. In addition, we plan to spend more than $9 million this year on tree trimming near our power lines. Such regular vegetation management helps avoid outages that can be caused by limbs and trees that fall during storms."
At the same time, Delmarva Power suggests that customers assemble an emergency kit that can be used at home, and if necessary, taken with them if they're ordered to evacuate. Every kit should include a flashlight, battery-powered clock and radio, extra batteries, non-perishable food, a manual can opener, bottled water and a list of important phone numbers. All items can be placed into a large cooler. The cooler will keep supplies organized and is easy to grab if a person has to leave home quickly.
Delmarva Power also provides a "Weathering the Storm" brochure that can be downloaded from its website (www.delmarva.com) or you can call Customer Care at 800-375-7117 to request a copy via mail.
Delmarva Power's Likovich was joined at today's event by Joe Theobald, Ocean City's Emergency Services Director; Joe Thomas, Director of Sussex County Emergency Operations; and John Culp, Executive Director of the Lower Shore Chapter of the American Red Cross.
"The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 53 percent of this country's population lives in coastal areas like Ocean City," said Theobald. "Many of these areas are considered to be hurricane-prone, so being properly prepared to deal with severe weather is very important when it comes to public safety. Ocean City has an emergency plan in place to protect the public and we urge our citizens to be ready when bad weather strikes. We also welcome the efforts being taken by Delmarva Power to be as prepared as possible."
"As people are busy making summer plans to enjoy the warm weather and beaches, preparing for a hurricane often ranks low on the list of priorities," said Thomas. "That is why it is important to prepare now instead of waiting for a storm to affect the area. Sussex County is prepared to work with our emergency services partners, like Delmarva Power, to respond when severe weather strikes and urges the public to visit its website ( www.sussexcountyde.gov/services/storm) to obtain valuable information on preparing for hurricane season."
Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe and reliable energy to nearly 498,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware and Maryland and over 123,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware .