In addition to proactively identifying external resources, utility is also preparing to open its storm center and pre-mobilizing employees for storm duty
BALTIMORE, Jan. 31, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) this evening announced that it has nearly 1,200 company, contractor and out-of-state field forces identified for deployment in support of electric service restoration, should power outages result from the approaching ice and freezing rain forecasted to hit Central Maryland this evening and continue into Wednesday. In addition to these field resources, many BGE employees are currently transitioning from their normal work duties into their storm roles in advance of the storm’s arrival. Customers are reminded to stay informed on restoration efforts via Twitter, Face and Flickr.
“With the approach of this system, BGE has made the decision to increase its compliment of available field personnel,” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning for BGE. “BGE is taking this proactive step to ensure resources are available to address power outages resulting from the approaching storm. Furthermore, the safety of our employees and customers is always our top priority. Ice and freezing rain will likely create very hazardous road conditions and delay travel time for our field forces, extending outage durations. Additionally, removing tree debris that is coated with thick ice – a task that must be completed before work can begin to fix damaged electric equipment - is even more time consuming than removing normal tree debris and will also extend outage duration. BGE thanks its customers in advance for their patience and understanding as we prepare for yet another significant weather event.”
Just as BGE prepares for severe weather and the possibility of power outages, customers should also be prepared and take steps to ensure the safety of their families and property during electric service interruptions. Customers should keep the following items readily available:
* Flashlights – not candles
* Fresh batteries
* Battery operated clock radio
* Corded telephone
* Fully charged cell phone
* Non-perishable foods
* Customers with special needs, such as those who may be elderly, handicapped or dependent on electricity for medical equipment, should have alternate arrangements in place should they experience an extended power outage. Customers using a generator or space heater should follow manufacturer instructions and be sure to locate generators in well-ventilated areas.
Customers also should consider filling the fuel tanks of their vehicles in the event a power outage affects service to neighborhood gas stations. For customers who rely on well water, filling a bathtub with water in advance of severe weather is strongly encouraged.
BGE's restoration priorities are public safety issues and critical facilities, such as 911 centers, hospitals and pumping stations. Then restoration is generally scheduled so that the greatest number of customers can be restored as quickly and as safely as possible. However, in cases of extended power outages, consideration is also given to customers who have been without service for the longest.
Customers are always reminded to stay away from downed power lines and to report them immediately by calling 1-410-685-0123. Power outages should be reported by calling BGE’s automated system at 1-877-778-2222. For more information about BGE storm preparation and how customers can protect their families and property, go to www.bge.com.
In addition to monitoring current and approaching weather conditions which could result in service interruptions, BGE regularly conducts emergency training drills during which all aspects of storm related service restoration are tested. BGE also reviews its Electric Delivery Emergency Response Plan to ensure that storm response procedures are up-to-date and in line with industry standards.
BGE, www.bge.com, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 640,000 natural gas customers in Central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,000 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Constellation Energy, www.constellation.com, a FORTUNE 500 company also headquartered in Baltimore, with subsidiaries that generate, sell and provide other energy-related services to customers throughout North America.