BGE encourages residents to plan ahead of storms
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.