For Immediate Release
BALTIMORE (Sept. 6, 2018) – With the peak of Atlantic hurricane season quickly approaching, BGE is observing September as National Preparedness Month to remind customers of the importance of being prepared for severe weather and other emergencies.
To harden its system against severe weather and to ensure safe and reliable service to customers, BGE invested approximately $1.1 billion in the company's electric system during 2017, part of the $7 billion invested in company infrastructure since 2002. The company continues to invest at the same levels in 2018.
Annual electric system upgrades include initiatives from building a smarter grid that helps isolate damage and re-route power more quickly to help minimize disruption, installing more durable electric poles, inspecting and replacing infrastructure and trimming trees that could affect the system. In 2017, these efforts resulted in customers experiencing the lowest average number of electric outages and the fastest restoration of outages when they did occur in company history.
"The safety of our customers and communities is our top priority," said Stephen J. Woerner, BGE president and chief operating officer. "We regularly prepare and conduct drills for severe weather and coordinate closely with government and community partners to ensure we are ready to respond safely and quickly when our customers need us. National Preparedness Month is a great reminder that being prepared is a responsibility everyone should take seriously."
To help customers plan and prepare for an emergency, BGE offers the following tips:
On September 12, 2018, BGE will conduct its annual day-long emergency response and severe impact storm response drill. This drill enables BGE to test and update its communications and emergency procedures in preparation of peak Atlantic hurricane season. If severe storms hit, BGE has digital resources to keep customers informed. The company's interactive outage map and mobile app provide customers information about outages across the company's system and give an estimate of how quickly power is expected to be restored.
As part of the Exelon family of companies, BGE participates in collaborative emergency response training exercises with its sister companies Atlantic City Electric, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO and Pepco. The companies share best practices to ensure they can provide seamless support and resources to each other during a storm or emergency restoration effort.
Launched in 2004, National Preparedness Month is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). During the month, FEMA and DHS encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies in all facets of their lives.
BGE, founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility, is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility. Headquartered in Baltimore, BGE delivers power to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company's approximately 3,200 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $5 billion of output in its service area, supporting more than 9,500 local jobs and producing $923 million in labor income. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.