January 22, 2016
The National Weather Service has forecast a potentially crippling winter storm for portions of the mid-Atlantic Friday into early Saturday. Snowfall may approach two feet for some locations, including the Baltimore and Washington, DC, metro areas. Farther north, there is uncertainty in snowfall for the New York City-to-Boston corridor. Farther south, significant icing is likely for portions of Kentucky and North Carolina. Based on the anticipated storm track, as much as 1 to 2 feet of snow is possible near and northwest of I-95 which could lead to power outages and difficult driving conditions.
OPC would like to remind consumers of the following safety tips in the event you experience a service outage. Throughout the severe weather watch, OPC will remain in direct contact with the utilities in order to update you with the latest information as conditions change.
What You Can Do
- Do not assume that Pepco or Washington Gas are aware of an outage or that a neighbor has called to report an outage. The utilities need to hear from every affected customer to help locate problem areas. Call Pepco's 24-hour outage report line - 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) or visit www.pepco.com. If you cannot use your home phone, follow the phone prompts and make sure Pepco has a working phone number where you can be reached about service restoration.
- Call Washington Gas to report a Gas Leak or service emergency at (703-750-1400) or WGL Customer Service at (703-750-1000) use the Spanish language line at 1-(800-874-9426) or visit www.washgas.com
- Check on elderly and at-risk friends and family to make sure they have access to plenty of water, a telephone and food.
Storm Preparation Tips
- Charge electronic devices such as your cellphone and keep backup batteries.
- Set your refrigerator to a maximum cold setting and keep it closed, in the event of a loss of power.
- Gather blankets, sleeping bags, battery-powered radios and flashlights. Candles are not recommended as they pose a serious fire hazard.
- Keep access to your gas furnace and hot water heater clear of clutter in case they need to be relighted.
- If you smell gas, DO NOT turn lights or appliances off and on as a small spark could cause an explosion.
- Fill vehicles with gas.
- Have extra cash on hand in case you are unable to gain access to a bank.
- Fill prescriptions, especially those used on a daily basis or needed in emergency situations.
- Ensure you have at least a 3-day, preferably a 7-day supply of water, non-perishable food and baby supplies, such as formula and diapers.
- Get a fully stocked first aid kit
- Protect electric equipment. Unplug sensitive electronics. Plug computers and other sensitive equipment into surge protectors. Consider an uninterruptible power supply for temporary battery backup power.
Keep the Following Numbers Handy:
- D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Hotline (202) 727-6161--to request assistance with emergency shelter or report a hazardous condition. www.hsema.dc.gov
- Pepco Safety Emergency (202) 872-3432-to report wires down
- Pepco Claims Office (202) 872-2455-- to request a form for electric service related damages
- DC Water And Sewer 24 Hour Emergency (202) 612-3400
- OPC (202) 727-3071-to obtain any information or assistance
- DC Public Service Commission (202) 261-5100
Additional Tips to help you prepare:
***Washington Gas Payment centers will close at 10am Friday.
***Effective 9:30am (1/22/16) the District is under a snow emergency. All vehicles parked in snow lanes on DC roadways must be removed.