“Pepco is prepared for the possibility of widespread outages that could take several days to restore”

warming centers dc pepco
Photo by PoPville flickr user MJWein

Ed. Note: God forbid, but you can find DC’s warming centers here.

From Pepco:

“With the weather forecast growing increasingly severe, Pepco continued reaching out to customers to encourage them to prepare for the possibility of extended power outages as a result of Winter Storm Jonas.

The company contacted individual customers who have registered with the company as needing electricity for critical medical equipment and advised them to review their plans and to take appropriate action as necessary to ensure their safety and well-being.

Weather services are predicting up to 24 inches of snow, high winds and ice that could produce hazardous road conditions and power outages starting tonight and continuing through Sunday. Because icy roads hamper restoration efforts, Pepco is prepared for the possibility of widespread outages that could take several days to restore.

“Winter Storm Jonas is predicted to produce heavy snow and winds that could cause extensive power outages. Pepco is well prepared for the storm, but if roads become impassable due to deep snow and downed trees, our power restoration efforts could be slowed,” said Donna Cooper, President of Pepco.

The utility is preparing for the possibility of significant power outages and currently has 150 internal linemen, 200 contractors and more than 200 tree crews available to respond. Pepco is participating in calls with other utilities to request additional line and tree crews as needed.

In addition, Pepco’s Call Centers will be staffed 24/7 and all internal personnel, who have been mobilized to support the potential for an emergency restoration effort, also will be working around the clock.

Pepco is coordinating closely with local emergency management agencies and the District of Columbia, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County departments of transportation.

Emergency Preparedness Tips

Pepco urges its customers to prepare for potential power outages and act to ensure their safety. Here are some tips:
· Have adequate prescription medicines or infant supplies on hand.
· 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 during a prolonged outage.
· Assemble an emergency “storm kit.” Include a battery-powered radio or television, flashlight, a first-aid kit, battery-powered or windup clock, extra batteries, special needs items, an insulated cooler and a list of important and emergency phone numbers.
· Keep at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods and bottled water and have a hand-operated can opener available.
· 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 the power in your basement.
· Tune in to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.
· Follow the advice of your local emergency management officials.
· Take cover if necessary.
· Customers can find additional tips on preparing for a storm on our website, pepco.com.

Reporting Power Outages

We ask customers to let us know if they lose their power. They can report outages by calling 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662), visiting pepco.com or through our mobile app, available for download at pepco.com/mobileapp. It is important that customers report their outages and request a call back to verify their power has been restored.

Customers should always assume that downed wires are energized and avoid them. Customers are asked to immediately report a downed wire by calling 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662).”

9 Comment

  • OK, but if you live in an area of DC where power lines are underground, what’s the likelihood of a power outage?

    • I don’t have an answer for you, but transmission lines are still above ground. So I’d say they are still at risk, which would obviously have trickle down effects for those of us whose lines are below ground. Someone may have a contradiction to my theory though….

    • In my experience it doesn’t really matter. Substations can be overloaded during severe weather events (more likely in the summer with A/C running), but with this much snow it can actually pile up and overwhelm equipment that serves underground lines. No generator for our house, so we may be living next to the fireplace if power goes out! At least we have a back up fridge/freezer (Mother Nature) and gas stove.

    • Quotia Zelda

      Our neighborhood had underground utilities, and we’ve still lost power during bad summer storms. Never in the winter; I’m hoping our luck holds.

    • Lived in CH with underground power for about 7 years. We’ve only lost power twice for no more than an hour and I think they were scheduled for some reason. Hurricane Sandy, Snowmageddon, etc. Never lost power.

  • Excelon can’t get fast enough. I know there’s no guarantee of better service, but it can’t be any worse than this. Pepco is basically saying that they didn’t do necessary maintenance or prepare for crisis mode, and that customers will have to suffer for their incompetence.

    • Yep, totally reasonable for you to expect there not to be any outages with a couple of feet of snow and high winds. And if there are, that they’ll be restored immediately.

      You must be an engineer, or a utility expert, right?

    • hahaha, funny naiveté

    • Do you really think the new super mega company is going to care more about your needs than the current mega company?

Comments are closed.