RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dominion Virginia Power is prepared to respond to a winter storm expected to roll through much of its service area through Sunday morning. Company trucks are being stocked and fueled, and crews made ready to move to the hardest-hit areas.
Dominion anticipates heavy snowfall across the state from the storm, which could knock trees and limbs into power lines and create widespread outages. The exact timing and strength of the storm may vary.
Dominion reminds its customers to call toll free 1-888-667-3000 to report outages or downed lines. The company's outage reporting system, which consists of call-center representatives and an automated voice response unit, can handle up to 100,000 calls an hour. Using the voice-response unit is the quickest way to report an outage or downed power lines.
Dominion urges its customers to pay attention to weather reports. Customers are advised to be prepared for extremely cold temperatures and should have a plan in place in the event of a power outage.
In the event of severe weather, take these common-sense steps to help prepare for possible outages:
Before the storm:
- Establish an online account with Dominion at www.dom.com and update it with your telephone number, including your cell phone number. This will ensure the accurate reporting of your power outage.
- Make sure you have a battery-operated radio, multiple flashlights, a battery-operated clock, and extra batteries.
- Make a point of having extra cash on hand. Widespread power outages could affect area ATM machines, which makes obtaining money more difficult after a major storm.
- Turn off and unplug any non-essential electrical equipment in your home.
- Have at least three gallons of fresh water per person on hand. This is especially important for those who rely on well water.
- Have an ample supply of canned and other non-refrigerated foods available.
- Make sure all prescription medications are filled.
- Have a full tank of gas in your car.
- If you have pets, please make sure you have provided for them as well.
During the storm, if your electricity is interrupted:
- Turn off major appliances such as heat pumps, water heaters and stoves. Unplug other appliances such as TVs, stereos, microwaves and computers. This will prevent damage to the appliance and possible overloads to the company's system when power is restored.
- Leave one light on so you will know when power is restored.
- If using portable or camp-type stoves or lanterns for cooking and lighting, ensure that the area is adequately ventilated.
After the storm:
- Call Dominion at 1-888-667-3000 to report an outage. Do not rely on your neighbors to report your outage.
- Listen to your local radio station in your car, or a battery-powered radio or television for news and weather updates.
- Stay away from fallen wires and debris. Treat all fallen wires as if they are energized.
- Follow safe operating procedures for generators. Never operate one inside your home, in crawl spaces or in an enclosed space, such as a garage.
- Do not hook portable generators directly to the electrical system of your home. Electricity could flow backward onto our power lines and endanger lives. Either have a qualified electrician perform the work or plug directly into the generator with the proper-sized extension cords.
- Visually inspect the area around your electricity meter. If you detect or suspect any damage, call Dominion at 1-888-667-3000.
Some useful links for the public and media during the winter storm season are:
Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,500 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage systems and serves retail energy customers in 12 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at www.dom.com.
Web site: http://www.dom.com/