For Immediate Release
Summer Storm Season Means Customers Should Review Plans, Check Supplies
OCEAN CITY, Md. - With this month marking the start of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, officials from Delmarva Power and area emergency services agencies held a news conference in Ocean City, Md., today to remind the public that it's time to prepare for the possibility that destructive tropical weather could hit the region any time between now and Nov. 30.
Prime examples of severe weather are last year's Derecho (violent wind storm) in the summer and Hurricane Sandy in the fall, both of which caused property damage and widespread power outages.
Meteorologists are predicting an "active" or "extremely active" hurricane season with a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which seven to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher) with three to six turning into major hurricanes with top winds of 111 mph or higher.
"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," said John Allen, Delmarva Power Region Vice President. "We'll be prepared to add more personnel and resources as needed and work with local governments through our Emergency Services Partnership Program to activate emergency procedures."
Delmarva Power employees prepare for the possibility of storm-related power outages by participating in emergency drills on a regular basis. In addition, the company maintains an adequate supply of essential equipment, such as poles, wires and transformers, and stays in contact with other utilities to quickly arrange for mutual assistance in case of a natural disaster.
"We also believe that preventive maintenance is essential in reducing the potential for service interruptions caused by stormy weather," said Allen. "We plan to invest more than $1 billion over the next several years to upgrade our electric infrastructure. We'll also spend several million dollars this year on tree trimming near power lines to help avoid outages that can be caused by trees and limbs that fall during storms."
Delmarva Power also 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. Each kit should include a flashlight, battery-powered clock and radio, extra batteries, non-perishable food, manual can opener, bottled water and a list of important phone numbers. All items can be placed into a large cooler which is easy to grab if a person has to leave home quickly.
Delmarva Power also provides a "Storm Preparation Handbook" 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.
Allen was joined at today's event by Joe Theobald, Ocean City's Emergency Services Director; Clay Stamp, Talbot County Emergency Services Director and Chairman of the Delmarva Emergency Task Force; Steve Marshall, Somerset County Emergency Services Director; and John Culp, Community Executive of the Lower Shore Chapter of the American Red Cross.
"Ocean City is a wonderful place to visit and live, but living in a coastal area, like Ocean City, means we are vulnerable and prone to hurricanes," said Theobald. "When bad weather strikes, we have a responsibility to prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster. We urge citizens to be ready for a hurricane and to have a plan in place. We also welcome the efforts being taken by Delmarva Power to be as prepared as possible."
Find additional information by visiting www.delmarva.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/delmarvapower and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/delmarvaconnect. Our mobile app is available at www.delmarva.com/mobileapp .
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 nearly 124,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware.