Contact: NOVEC Public Relations, 1-888-335-0500, firstname.lastname@example.org
Customers should prepare now for possible power outages
MANASSAS, Va. — Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative is ready for Hurricane Florence and the pouring rain she may bring to Virginia. The Co-op urges everyone to prepare now for possible power outages.
“Weather forecasters tell us Northern Virginia has received 150 to 300 percent of its normal rainfall since early May,” says Dan Swingle, Electric System Operations vice president. “All summer long, thunderstorms have caused trees sitting in extremely wet ground to give way and fall on power lines. The additional rain that Hurricane Florence will bring, along with the rain that has fallen since Saturday, will no doubt cause more rain-soaked trees growing outside our right-of-way corridors to fall on power lines. People should prepare now in case they lose electric service.”
Swingle says NOVEC crews are assembling equipment and supplies. “Our utility trucks are well stocked in anticipation of Hurricane Florence and all employees are on alert.”
Customers can follow NOVEC’s outage reports on novec.com and on social media, but Swingle emphasizes they should never report outages on social media. “We need customers’ addresses and account numbers for outage reporting. Customers should never post personal information on social media for security reasons. Instead, they should call or text us, or report the outage on our secure website. That’s the safest and quickest way to communicate with us and have service restored.”
Prepare for Power Outages
- Post NOVEC’s telephone numbers, 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500, in an easy-to-find place.
- Make sure NOVEC has up to two current phone numbers associated with the customer’s account to help crews restore power much faster. Customers can update numbers on novec.com under “My Account,” or they may call 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500 and follow the prompts.
- Download NOVEC’s smartphone mobile app at www.novec.com/apps.
- Keep cellphones charged. Have a phone charger in the car.
- Fuel all vehicles.
- Have an emergency kit ready. Include: non-perishable food, manual can opener, canned fuel for heating food along with matches or lighter, lots of bottled water, flashlights, lanterns, battery-operated radio, fresh batteries, ice coolers, first-aid supplies, a whistle to signal for help, and if applicable, sufficient prescription drugs, pet food, and baby-care items. Learn more at www.nhc.noaa.gov.
- Get emergency cash. ATM machines don’t work without electricity.
- Pack the freezer with food or ice cubes. The fuller, the longer food will stay frozen. The opposite applies to refrigerators: The less food the better. So remove expired food from the refrigerator.
What to Do If a Power Outage Occurs
- Call, text, or report an outage at www.novec.com. Have your account number ready. Click on the “Outage Center” for information.
- Keep at least one exterior light on so Co-op crews will know when power has been restored if an outage occurs.
- Warning: Stay away from downed power lines and poles and the area around them. Even metal storm debris hiding a live downed power line can shock or electrocute anyone who comes in contact with it. Notify NOVEC immediately about down lines at 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500.
- Use flashlights, lanterns, or battery-powered candles instead of real candles. If you use real candles, keep them away from children and flammable household furnishings.
- Open freezers and refrigerators only when necessary. Put needed perishable food in coolers with ice or ice packs.
- Warning: Only use a portable generator, camp stove, or charcoal grill outdoors to prevent creating deadly carbon-monoxide fumes indoors. Hire a professional to install a whole-house generator because an incorrectly installed generator could back-feed electricity onto the grid and seriously harm line techs who are trying to restore service.
- After power is restored, wait five to ten minutes before turning on appliances and HVAC systems.
Learn more about storm preparation and outages at www.novec.com/outageinfo.