High wind could bring trees and tree limbs down onto power lines causing outages
The company is mobilizing support and field personnel in advance of forecasted weather front, positioning crews to respond as safely and as quickly as possible should outages occur
BALTIMORE (March 12, 2014) — Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) has begun the process of preparing and mobilizing field personnel, customer contact center and support employees in advance of an approaching weather system, forecasted to bring rain, high wind and wind gusts to its central Maryland service area throughout this evening and Thursday. The storm could include sustained winds of up to 30 miles per hour and wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour. High wind conditions combined with saturated ground could bring whole trees and tree limbs down onto power lines and other electric delivery equipment causing outages. With any impending storm, BGE reminds its customers to take the time now to make preparations for their families and homes.
“BGE has taken steps to prepare our field crews and increase the number of its field personnel scheduled overnight, in advance of tonight’s forecasted storm,” said Carol Dodson, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “This allows us to position our crews throughout the service area so they are able to respond to weather-related outages as soon as it is safe to do so. Restoration work involving the removal of tree debris can be labor and time intensive and windy conditions could limit restoration work involving bucket trucks. We thank our customers for preparing in advance and for reporting downed wires and outages to BGE.”
The safety of BGE’s customers and employees is always the company’s top priority. Customers are reminded to stay away from downed power lines and report both outages and downed lines at 1.877.778.2222. Customers may also report power outages from mobile phones and devices through the company’s mobile website at bge.com. An enhanced power outage map is also available through the mobile and full websites, and provides the general location and status of current electric power outages in BGE’s service area. Customers can view affected area(s), the number of customers affected by an outage, estimated time of restoration if available, and the status of the field crew assigned to repair the issue.
Customers with special needs, such as those who may be elderly, disabled 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. Any customers using generators or portable heaters should carefully follow all safety instructions from the manufacturer. Improper use of this equipment or other appliances can result in potential deadly carbon monoxide poisoning, fire or other dangerous conditions.
BGE encourages its customers and employees to proactively prepare for severe weather and the possibility of power outages and to take steps to ensure the safety of their families and property during service interruptions by taking the following steps:
· Staying informed – Be aware of changing weather conditions and plan ahead. Have a battery-powered radio with a weather band so you can hear emergency information when the power is out.
· Making a plan – Discuss and document an emergency plan with those in your care. Develop an emergency plan that includes alternative arrangements should the need arise to leave your home. Make provisions for special needs of any family member such as the elderly, disabled, medically affected or infants (Customers with Special Needs). If you are dependent on electric-powered medical equipment, you are encouraged to seek alternate arrangements in the event that your electric service is interrupted.
· Making a list of emergency phone numbers (including 877.778.2222 to report an outage or a downed wire to BGE) and keep a personal telephone book and one corded phone or a cell phone on hand. Customers are also able to report power outages from mobile phones and devices through the mobile website at bge.com.
· Maintaining an emergency supply kit – Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for you and those in your care. Remember supplies for children, those with special needs and pets. Keep the following items readily available:
o Flashlights – not candles
o Fresh batteries
o Battery-operated clock radio
o Corded telephone
o Fully charged cell phone
o Non-perishable foods
o Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation
o First aid kit
o Local maps
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 911centers, 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 can find information on preparing for natural disasters and other emergency events at bge.com, as well as storm preparation information and restoration progress via BGE’s social media sites on Twitter and Facebook.