BGE Conducts Annual Storm Drill to Test Emergency Preparedness and Response Operations
More than 300 company employees participated in the annual multi-day storm drill during which storm-related service
restoration readiness was tested
BALTIMORE (Oct. 4, 2013) – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) recently completed a multi-day storm drill as part of the company’s year-round commitment to emergency preparedness and storm response. In addition to regularly monitoring current and approaching weather conditions that could result in service interruptions, BGE conducts company-wide drills throughout the year to test all aspects of natural gas and electric service interruptions, including emergency events and storm-related service restoration.
More than 300 employees participated in the annual fall storm drill, which took place earlier this week, to ensure that storm and emergency response procedures are up-to-date and in line with industry standards. As a part of the drill, BGE also coordinated training for safety patrollers, conducted an on-site drill at a Howard County substation with the Howard County Fire and Rescue, and interacted with Howard County Department of Public Works on road closure response, to enhance the drill for both BGE employees and county agencies involved in emergency response work.
“Public safety and customer service are top priorities at BGE, and we have dedicated thousands of employees, hundreds of pieces of equipment and a fleet of vehicles to respond to emergencies and storm-related power outages year-round,” said Stephen J. Woerner, senior vice president and chief operating officer, BGE. “BGE is continually reviewing and updating our emergency procedures and resource availability, ensuring that we are always prepared to respond to widespread power outages as safely and as quickly as possible. In addition to employee training exercises that enable employees to test their readiness for storm response and identify opportunities for improving or expanding their skill sets, BGE conducts a thorough review of our equipment and other resources throughout the year to ensure we are fully prepared to respond to all emergencies, including severe weather events.”
BGE encourages its customers and employees to proactively prepare for severe weather and other emergency events that may affect natural gas or electric service. Customers are encouraged to proactively take steps to ensure the safety of their families and property during service interruptions by taking the following steps:
· Stay 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.
· Make a plan – Discuss and document an emergency plan with those in your care. Develop a family 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. 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.
· Make 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.
· Build an emergency 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
As a reminder, BGE customers who may be elderly, disabled or dependent on electricity for medical or life-sustaining equipment (Customers with Special Needs), should always have alternate arrangements in place should they experience an extended power outage.
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 also reminds customers that they can now report power outages from mobile phones and devices through the mobile website atbge.com or by calling 877.778.2222. Additionally, BGE encourages customers to stay informed of restoration efforts by visiting itsenhanced power outage map, which is available through the mobile and full websites. This important tool provides general location and status of current electric power outages in BGE’s service area. Customers can view affected areas, the number of customers affected, estimated times of restoration, if available, and the status of field crews assigned to respond to the outages.
Customers can find information on preparing for natural disasters and other emergency events at bge.com. In the event of widespread outages from severe weather, customers can stay informed of restoration efforts via bge.com, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.