BGE Media Hotline: 410-470-7433
BALTIMORE (March 2, 2014) — Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) continues to closely monitor an impending winter storm, forecasted to bring freezing rain, high wind and wind gusts and a possible five to twelve inches of dry snow to BGE’s central Maryland service area Sunday evening through Monday. The company has begun the process of preparing employees, including support and field personnel. Coupled with wind gusts, freezing rain can cover trees and tree limbs, electric delivery equipment and power lines, and cause power outages. BGE reminds its customers to take the time now to make preparations for their families and homes.
“By taking steps to prepare our field crews and support staff in advance of tonight’s forecasted winter storm, BGE will be in a position to begin restoring service as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Carol Dodson, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “Customers should prepare for the possibility of extended power outages in the event that freezing rain causes treacherous road conditions, which may delay crew travel and restoration times.
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.
To assure uninterrupted gas service, customers are reminded to keep outside gas meters and attached equipment clear of ice buildup and snow. Check the meter on a regular basis and gently clear away any ice buildup or snow. A broom makes a handy tool to gently clear the meter. Even though it may be tempting do not melt or chip the ice away or use a shovel to scrape it off. These methods can easily damage or break the meter. It is also important to remove icicles from the roof or gutters that hang over the meter. Dripping water can cause freezing and damage the meter or equipment. If the meter becomes encased in ice, please call BGE at 800.685.0123 for assistance.
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.