• Atlantic City Electric Urges Customers to Prepare for Hurricane Irene

    Aug 25, 2011

    Utility Contacts Individuals with Critical Medical Equipment Needs
    More Crews Recruited for Restoration Effort

    MAYS LANDING, N.J. – Atlantic City Electric is contacting individual customers who need power for critical medical equipment, urging them to review their emergency plans and prepare for the possibility that they could be subject to extended power outages as a result of Hurricane Irene.

    The hurricane is expected to hit the Mid-Atlantic Region this weekend and the utility is preparing for the possibility of a widespread, multi-day restoration effort.

    Atlantic City Electric today is reaching out to customers who have registered with the company as needing electricity for critical medical equipment, to power life-support equipment, for example. Customers are being contacted through Atlantic City Electric ’s automated messaging system and are being urged to review their plans, check supplies and take appropriate action to ensure their safety and well being.

    “Hurricane Irene is large and powerful and we need our customers to know ahead of time that it could result in extended power outages,” said Vince Maione, Atlantic City Electric Region President. “We understand that they need to plan appropriately during emergencies and want to help as best we can.

    The utility continues to monitor the progress of Irene up the Eastern Seaboard. It could strike the service territory starting Saturday. Weather services are predicting that the region will be hit by flooding rain and damaging winds over a prolonged period into Sunday, which could cause widespread and extended power outages.

    Atlantic City Electric continues to participate on Mid-Atlantic Mutual Assistance and Southeastern Electric Exchange conference calls with other utilities to request additional field crew assistance.

    Atlantic City Electric ’s line crews will work extended hours and the company has alerted additional staff to provide support services, including ramping up the Call Center to provide 24-hour coverage beginning on Friday, August 26.

    The company also continues to be in contact with state and local emergency management agencies to ensure a coordinated community response.

    After severe storms, assessing damage and estimating when customers will be restored could take up to 24 hours after the heart of the storm has moved from the area. Crews are deployed to restore service only when weather conditions become safe.

    Customers Urged to Prepare and Be Safe

    Atlantic City Electric 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 or to a hospital 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 your power.
    • 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.
    • Stay away from downed wires.

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    Atlantic City Electric, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe, reliable and affordable regulated electric delivery services to more than 548,000 customers in southern New Jersey.