Will Your Family Be Prepared For Hurricane Season?

- Hurricane season begins June 1; families encouraged to prepare now

- Dominion Virginia Power offers online safety tips, alerts for customers

- Save money: Purchase hurricane-related supplies during Virginia tax-free holiday May 25-31

May 16, 2013, 09:07 ET from Dominion Virginia Power

RICHMOND, Va., May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hurricanes and severe storms are a staple of summer in Virginia. Dominion Virginia Power is making sure it's prepared for the June 1 start of hurricane season and urging its customers to get ready, too.

The company 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 also conducts refresher training and multi-day emergency preparedness and response drills.

Virginians can save money if they purchase hurricane-related supplies and equipment from May 25-31 when some of it will be exempt from state sales tax. Information is available at: http://www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=HurricanePreparednessEquipmentHoliday 

Here are some important tips for customers when a storm approaches:

  • Treat all downed lines and anything touching them as energized and dangerous.  Be sure your children know the danger.
  • Report and check the status of power outages when using the company's website at www.dom.com via smartphone, other mobile device or computer. You will need the account number or 10-digit phone number listed on the account, and the last four digits of your Social Security number, federal tax identification number or PIN. Phone numbers can be updated online through Manage Your Account or by calling our phone number update line at 1-800-222-0401.
  • You also can report an outage using Dominion's toll-free service number, 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357). Program this number into your phone's memory or keep it handy so you can find it if the lights go out.
  • Put together an emergency preparedness kit with needed supplies such as flashlights, water, medicines, portable radios, extra batteries and canned goods.
  • Look after neighbors and relatives who may need assistance if they lose power.

Dominion offers extensive information online. Real-time electric outage maps and restoration information, safety tips and much more are posted at Dominion's website, www.dom.com, its online storm center at www.dom.com/storm-center/index.jsp and through www.twitter.com/DomVAPower and www.facebook.com/dominionvirginiapower.

General hurricane preparedness information is available at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's "Ready America" website: http://www.fema.gov/areyouready/hurricanes.shtm. Weather reports including those provided by the National Hurricane Center are posted at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

If severe weather is expected, take these common-sense steps to prepare:

  • Check out the hurricane evacuation guidelines available at the Virginia Department of Transportation's Web site: http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hurricane_default.asp. Also see the information on the Virginia Department of Emergency Management's Web site at: http://www.vaemergency.com/readyvirginia/stayinformed/hurricanes.
  • If you experience an outage, report it and then 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.
  • 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 backwards 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.

Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,000 megawatts of generation 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,400 miles of electric transmission lines.  Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com

Save time, energy and postage by enrolling in Dominion's eBill paperless billing program at: https://www.dom.com/find-it-fast/payment-options/paperless-billing.jsp

Visuals: Supporting videos can be downloaded at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBnLg_h9bnA&feature=youtu.be and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-m8G27FxhU&feature=youtu.be  

SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power