Out-of-state utility personnel expected to begin arriving in BGE’s Central Maryland service area later today
BALTIMORE, Feb. 1, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that approximately 1,600 people have been identified and are on stand-by in anticipation of electric restoration activity due to forecasted ice and freezing rain this evening. These resources include approximately 200 out-of-state linemen which are expected to begin arriving later today, as well as BGE employees and contractors in both field and office settings such as the utility’s storm center and call center. Customers can stay informed of restoration efforts via Twitter, Face and Flickr.
“Given the size and scope of this storm, it was clear to us that out-of-state utility resources would very quickly become unavailable to BGE and other utilities in the region,” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning for BGE. As a result, BGE made the decision yesterday to request mutual assistance and pre-mobilized its employees in advance of significant weather-related power outages, in order to better respond to power outages as safely and quickly as possible “That said, road conditions will likely be extremely hazardous and travel time for our field forces will be delayed, which will extend restoration activity. We thank our customers in advance for their patience and understanding as we work through yet another significant winter storm.”
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
Battery operated clock radio
Fully charged cell phone
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.
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.
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.