BGE en­cour­ages res­i­dents to plan ahead of storms

The Dundalk Eagle - - POLICE BEAT -

With the peak of At­lantic hur­ri­cane sea­son quickly ap­proach­ing, BGE is ob­serv­ing Septem­ber as Na­tional Pre­pared­ness Month to re­mind cus­tomers of the im­por­tance of be­ing pre­pared for se­vere weather and other emer­gen­cies.

To harden its sys­tem against se­vere weather and to en­sure safe and re­li­able ser­vice to cus­tomers, BGE in­vested ap­prox­i­mately $1.1 bil­lion in the com­pany’s elec­tric sys­tem dur­ing 2017, part of the $7 bil­lion in­vested in com­pany in­fra­struc­ture since 2002. The com­pany con­tin­ues to in­vest at the same lev­els in 2018.

An­nual elec­tric sys­tem up­grades in­clude ini­tia­tives from build­ing a smarter grid that helps iso­late dam­age and re-route power more quickly to help min­i­mize dis­rup­tion, in­stalling more durable elec­tric poles, in­spect­ing and re­plac­ing in­fra­struc­ture and trim­ming trees that could af­fect the sys­tem. In 2017, these ef­forts re­sulted in cus­tomers ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the low­est av­er­age num­ber of elec­tric out­ages and the fastest restora­tion of out­ages when they did oc­cur in com­pany his­tor y.

“The safety of our cus­tomers and com­mu­ni­ties is our top pri­or­ity,” said Stephen J. Wo­erner, BGE pres­i­dent and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer. “We reg­u­larly pre­pare and con­duct drills for se­vere weather and co­or­di­nate closely with gov­ern­ment and com­mu­nity part­ners to en­sure we are ready to re­spond safely and quickly when our cus­tomers need us. Na­tional Pre­pared­ness Month is a great re­minder that be­ing pre­pared is a re­spon­si­bil­ity every­one should take se­ri­ously.”

To help cus­tomers plan and pre­pare for an emer­gency, BGE of­fers the fol­low­ing tips:

• Keep a flash­light with fresh bat­ter­ies on each floor of your home.

• Iden­tify an al­ter­nate lo­ca­tion for you and your fam­ily in case of an ex­tended out­age.

• Re­view the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions for safe op­er­a­tion of your gen­er­a­tor. Do not con­nect a gen­er­a­tor di­rectly to your home’s wiring. Never use a gen­er­a­tor in­doors or any en­closed area.

• Fol­low the ad­vice of lo­cal emer­gency man­age­ment of­fi­cials.

• Stay away from any storm-dam­aged elec­tri­cal equip­ment, es­pe­cially downed lines. Al­ways as­sume downed lines are en­er­gized. Re­port a downed wire im­me­di­ately by calling 1-800-6850123.

• Cus­tomers with medicine that needs to be re­frig­er­ated or who have med­i­cal equip­ment that re­quires elec­tric­ity should have al­ter­nate plans in place in the event of a power out­age.

• Utilize a corded phone as a home phone to re­port out­ages if a cell phone loses power.

On Septem­ber 12, 2018, BGE con­ducted its an­nual day-long emer­gency re­sponse and se­vere im­pact storm re­sponse drill. This drill en­abled BGE to test and up­date its com­mu­ni­ca­tions and emer­gency pro­ce­dures in prepa­ra­tion of peak At­lantic hur­ri­cane sea­son. If se­vere storms hit, BGE has dig­i­tal re­sources to keep cus­tomers in­formed. The com­pany’s in­ter­ac­tive out­age map and mo­bile app pro­vide cus­tomers in­for­ma­tion about out­ages across the com­pany’s sys­tem and give an es­ti­mate of how quickly power is ex­pected to be re­stored.

As part of the Ex­elon fam­ily of com­pa­nies, BGE par­tic­i­pates in col­lab­o­ra­tive emer­gency re­sponse train­ing ex­er­cises with its sis­ter com­pa­nies At­lantic City Elec­tric, ComEd, Del­marva Power, PECO and Pepco. The com­pa­nies share best prac­tices to en­sure they can pro­vide seam­less sup­port and re­sources to each other dur­ing a storm or emer­gency restora­tion ef­fort.

Launched in 2004, Na­tional Pre­pared­ness Month is spon­sored by the Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (FEMA) within the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity (DHS). Dur­ing the month, FEMA and DHS en­cour­age Amer­i­cans to pre­pare for emer­gen­cies in all facets of their lives.

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