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Prepare For Storms and Power Outages
August 12, 2008

Contact: Priscilla Knight, 703-392-1580, pknight@novec.com

NORTHERN VIRGINIA—Hurricane and storm season is in full force and the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative urges area residents to prepare for possible outages. NOVEC and the National Hurricane Center recommend the following measures:

Preparing for Storms and Hurricanes:

  •  Locate the safest areas in your home.  If your home is not safe, determine escape routes, where to   meet, and where to find shelter.
  •  Have an out-of-state friend as a single point of contact for all family members.
  •  Make a plan now for your pets if you need to evacuate.
  •  Have flashlights, battery-powered lanterns and other light sources ready, and have fresh, extra batteries on hand.
  • Use a NOAA weather radio or other battery-powered radio for information.
  • Have enough medicine, first aid supplies and baby care items.  If prescriptions are essential, get them refilled. Click on the National Hurricane Center’s Disaster Supply Kit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/prepare/supply_kit.shtml
  • Have identification and documentation on hand:  Social Security card; driver’s license; birth certificate; and home, car, and life insurance information. Keep them and other important documents in a water-proof file box.
  • Cordless phones do not work when power is out.  Have a corded phone or make sure cell phones are charged.
  • Post NOVEC’s telephone number—703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500—in an easy-to-find place.
  • Make sure NOVEC has your current phone number. NOVEC’s outage system uses caller ID to expedite the outage reporting and restoration process.  To report a new or changed number, have your account number handy and call the NOVEC numbers above. Push or say “2," then select option "3" and follow directions.
  • Make sure children know how and when to call 911. 

Before an Imminent Storm or Hurricane:

  • Get inside a building and stay away from windows.
  • Turn off heating and air conditioning systems and electric ranges.
  • Unplug sensitive electronic equipment such as TVs, DVD/ VCR players, microwave ovens and computers to protect them from surges and fluctuations that may occur during the storm and when power is restored. After power is restored, wait five to ten minutes before turning on appliances and heating/cooling systems.

If Power Goes Out

  • Call NOVEC at 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500. If you have access to a working computer, visit www.novec.com and click on the outage map for information.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and poles and the area around them.  They may be energized and dangerous. Notify NOVEC immediately.
  • Storm debris can hide a downed power line, which can energize anything that comes in contact with it, such as metal fences, bicycles, or standing water. Stay away and notify NOVEC.
  • Do not use candles, but if you do, watch them. Keep them away from furniture, draperies and other flammable materials.
  • Open freezers and refrigerators only when necessary.
  • Only run a portable generator, or use a camp stove or charcoal grill outdoors to avoid deadly carbon monoxide fumes.

NOVEC, headquartered in Manassas, Va., is a not-for-profit, electric utility corporation that supplies and distributes electricity and energy-related services to more than 150,000 customers in Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, and Clarke counties, the Town of Clifton, and the City of Manassas Park. It is one of the largest electric companies of its kind in the nation. For more information, visit www.novec.com or call 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500.

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