RICHMOND, Va., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hurricane season is officially here, and preparing for severe storms is an important part of ushering in the warm summer days. Dominion Virginia Power is making sure it's prepared for the 2014 hurricane season and urging its customers to do the same.
"There are some simple ways you can get your family ready for a storm," said David Rives, Senior Vice President, Distribution at Dominion Virginia Power. "Assemble an emergency preparedness kit, ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas, have some cash on hand, and stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter for updates before, during, and after a storm."
Dominion works year-round with state and local authorities to make sure it can respond quickly to the extensive damage that major storms, especially hurricanes, can cause. As the start of hurricane season approaches, Dominion conducts refresher training and emergency preparedness and response drills.
Customers may see Dominion doing something new this year—a new fallen wire identification and prioritization process will be implemented after major storms.
Public safety is the top priority for Dominion, and crews will continue to investigate every report of a downed wire. After major storms, customers may see a new marking system—yellow tape around a wire that is part of Dominion's system, or orange tape around a wire that belongs to another utility. Dominion will investigate the wire and then contact the owner utility after ensuring that the wire does not pose an imminent threat to public safety.
Dominion reminds customers to treat all downed lines and anything touching them as energized and dangerous. Be sure your children know the danger.
Before a storm approaches, here are a few things to remember:
- Be sure your phone number is up to date on your account. You can update the number online through Manage Your Account or by calling our phone number update line at 1-800-222-0401.
- Sign up for Dominion text alerts by visiting the website at www.dom.com/news/text-alerts.jsp to choose the region you would like to receive alerts for.
- Put together an emergency preparedness kit with needed supplies such as flashlights, water, medicines, portable radios, extra batteries and non-perishable goods.
If you experience an outage:
- Check the status or report your power outage using your smartphone and visiting www.Dom.com or by calling 1-866-DOM-HELP. Bookmark the website or program the phone number into your phone to keep it handy in case the lights go out.
- After reporting an outage, turn off major appliances such as heat pumps, water heaters and stoves. Unplug other appliances such as TVs, stereos, microwaves and computers. This may extend the life of appliances and reduce possible overloads to the company's system when power is restored. Leave one lamp or light on so you will be able to recognize when power is restored.
- Look after neighbors and relatives who may need assistance if they lose power.
- Follow safe operating procedures for generators. Never operate one inside your home or in an enclosed space, such as a garage. Do not hook them directly to the electrical system of your home. Electricity could flow backward onto our power lines and endanger repair crews. The correct, safe technique is to follow the instructions provided with the generator and always use proper-sized extension cords.
Additional resources are available, such as the hurricane evacuation guidelines on the Virginia Department of Transportation's website: http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hurricane_default.asp.
You may also find additional information on the Virginia Department of Emergency Management's website at: http://www.vaemergency.com/readyvirginia/stayinformed/hurricanes.
Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 23,600 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems and serves utility and retail energy customers in 10 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com