Contact: NOVEC Public Relations, 1-888-335-0500, firstname.lastname@example.org
NOVEC prepares for high winds and power outages as
‘March comes in like a lion’
Customers should prepare now
MANASSAS, Va. — Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative is preparing for a “significant threat” of gusty winds blowing across Northern Virginia on Friday and possible power outages. NOVEC urges customers to prepare now as “March comes in like a lion.”
“We may have widespread power outages if weather forecasters are correct and we get wind gusts as strong as 60 miles per hour,” explains Dan Swingle, Electric System Operations vice president. “Winds that strong could blow trees and branches onto power lines and break utility poles. NOVEC crews are assembling equipment and supplies, and our utility trucks are getting ready to roll.”
Customers can follow what’s happening 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 use our text-reporting system, or report the outage on our secure website. That’s the safest and quickest way to communicate with us and have service restored.”
Ways to Prepare for Possible 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 your current phone numbers – up to two -- associated with your account. Correct numbers help crews restore power much faster. Customers can update numbers on www.novec.com under “My Account,” or they may call 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500 and follow the prompts.
- Keep cellphones charged. Have a phone charger in your car.
- Fuel vehicles.
- Download NOVEC’s smartphone mobile app at www.novec.com/apps.
- 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.
- Have identification and documentation ready to grab. Store Social Security information; birth certificates; home, car, and life insurance files; passports; and other important documents in a waterproof file box. Store photocopies in a safe place.
- 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 clean out your refrigerator.
What to do if a Power Outage Occurs
- Call, text, or report an outage at www.novec.com. Click on the “Outage Center” for information. Have your account number ready.
- Warning: Stay away from downed power lines and poles and the area around them. Be aware that 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 heating systems.
Learn more about storm preparation and outages at www.novec.com/outageinfo.