For Immediate Release
CITY, Md./ REHOBOTH, Del. - With the start of the 2015 Atlantic
hurricane season just a few days away, officials from Delmarva Power, area municipalities
and emergency services agencies held joint news conferences in Ocean City, Md.,
and Rehoboth, Del., 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 June 1 and Nov. 30.
Meteorologists are predicting a
"well-below-average" hurricane season with seven tropical storms (sustained
winds of 39 mph or higher) of which three could become hurricanes (winds of 74
mph or higher).
"Despite the early prediction of a
less active season, it is essential that all of us remain vigilant and be
prepared for hurricane season. We want our customers to know that we are 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 Jim Smith, Delmarva Power senior public affairs manager. "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
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 Smith. "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 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
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.
Smith was joined at today's events by Clay
Stamp, Executive Director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency; Joe
Theobald, Ocean City's Emergency Services Director; Fred Webster, Director of
Worcester County Emergency Services; Joe Thomas, Director of the Sussex County
Emergency Operations Center; Bill Sammler, Warning Coordination Meteorologist
for the National Weather Service; Sharon Lynn, City Manager of Rehoboth Beach;
and Patrick Delaney, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Delmarva.
"While the last two hurricane seasons
have been relatively quiet, we all remember the devastation from Hurricane Sandy
in 2012, especially in the New York City area and on Maryland's Lower Eastern
Shore," said Stamp. "It's important for us to always be prepared because even
in a quiet hurricane season, just one hurricane making landfall in our area can
"Whatever the forecast, residents and property
owners should never be lulled into a sense of complacency because it only takes
one storm to destroy property and threaten lives," said Thomas. "One step
residents can take ahead of hurricane season is to create a Safety Profile for
their household with Sussex County's free Smart911.com service to provide
potentially critical, life-saving information up front to first responders.
Profiles can contain as much or as little information as users want, including
details about their properties, special medical conditions and family contacts."
"Regardless of the seasonal hurricane
forecast, it only takes one storm to cause a disaster on the Delmarva Peninsula,"
said Sammler. "We should prepare as if every year will be the year of a
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.