BALTIMORE; 8:20 p.m. ET – As a Winter Storm Warning has been issued for parts of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company’s central Maryland service area, the company is preparing field crews and employees for possible outages related to snow and freezing rain. Just as the company is preparing to respond to potential power outages from the weather, BGE urges customers to prepare as well.
Customers are reminded that they can now report power outages from mobile phones and devices through the mobile website at bge.com or by calling 877.778.2222. An enhanced power outage map is also available through the mobile and full websites, and provides 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.
“BGE continues to monitor the approaching winter storm and is preparing crews for restoration work, should conditions warrant,” said Carol Dodson, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “The forecasted snow and ice has the potential to coat trees and tree limbs, which may then fall onto power lines and other electric delivery equipment, which could cause power outages. Some outages may be extended if hazardous road conditions delay our crews’ ability to travel and begin restoration work. We appreciate our customers’ efforts to prepare for adverse weather and to assist BGE in identifying outage locations by reporting power outages through our recently introduced mobile website at bge.com or our automated phone system at 877.778.2222.”
As a reminder, BGE customers who may be elderly, disabled or dependent on electricity for medical equipment (Customers with Special Needs), should always have alternate arrangements in place should they experience an extended power outage.
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:
· 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
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.
In addition to monitoring current and approaching weather conditions that could result in service interruptions, BGE regularly conducts emergency training drills during which all aspects of storm-related service restoration are tested. BGE’s most recent drill occurred in October and involved a detailed review of BGE’s Electric Delivery Emergency Response Plan to ensure that storm response procedures are up-to-date and in line with industry standards.