Mays Landing, N.J.. – After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005 the mid-Atlantic region was told it was only a matter of time before this area was hit by a storm just as, if not more, destructive. Residents were warned that they needed to prepare. But how many have?
Already this season residents in Colorado have faced a blizzard and Oregon and Washington were rocked by fierce winds and flooding knocking out power to those residents in some cases for weeks. Emergency planners say we all need to be prepared to take care of ourselves for a minimum of three days, but how many of us have heeded that recommendation?
“While the destructive forces of nature have struck in other parts of the country, there have been any number of surveys that show most of us are still not prepared to be on our own without normal services, like water and power,” says Mike Maxwell, Vice President, Emergency Preparedness for Atlantic City Electric.
“Whether the emergency is a blizzard, or a hurricane that knocks out power to the region, or an hazardous chemical accident that forces people to shelter in place, there are preparations customers can make today that will help them deal with the aftermath of any event,” Maxwell adds.
Emergency preparedness means being ready to deal with any kind of emergency. Atlantic City Electric suggests that customers assemble an emergency kit that can be used at home and, if necessary, taken with you if you’re ordered to evacuate. Although the kit should be customized to fit individual needs, every kit should include a flashlight, battery-powered clock, radio or TV and extra batteries. You can place those items along with non-perishable food, a manual can opener and water supplies into a large cooler. The cooler will keep supplies organized and would be easy to grab if you have to leave home quickly.
Atlantic City Electric’s guide for customers, Weathering the Storm, provides universal emergency preparedness information. This booklet is available online at www.atlanticcityelectric.com. Customers will also find links to a variety of emergency preparedness agencies offering additional information on family emergency planning. Weathering the Storm is also available by calling Atlantic City Electric’s Customer Care hotline, 1-800-642-3780.
Customers who depend on emergency medical or life support equipment can sign up for Atlantic City Electric’s Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program. When there is the potential for extended storm-related power outages participants in this program will receive notification within 48 hours of the forecasted event. If an outage occurs, Atlantic City Electric will make every effort to restore a participant’s power promptly, however inclusion in this program does not ensure immediate or priority restoration. For more information, visit our website at www.atlanticcityelectric.com or contact our Customer Care Center at 1-800-642-3780.
“The recent storms that have hit other parts of the country underline the importance of planning to make sure you can take care of yourself, your family and your neighbors if you are left without outside help for days. “We are all busy, but as emergency planners stress, it is important to take a minute or two to prepare now,” says Maxwell.
Atlantic City Electric is committed to delivering safe and reliable power. That’s why we are urging customers to plan ahead for emergencies. The best way to make your family and your home safer is to be prepared before an emergency occurs.
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Editors Note: refer to Atlantic City Electric's website (www.atlanticcityelectric.com) for information on electrical safety, energy saving tips, bill payment options and power outage updates.