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For Immediate Release

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Rachael Lighty

rachael.lighty@bge.com

BGE Crews and Employees Prepared for Today’s Snow and Freezing Rain

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Company reminds customers to report outages at 877.778.2222 or through a mobile device at bge.com

BALTIMORE (February 21, 2015) – As snow and freezing rain begin to impact Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE)’s central Maryland service area, the company has mobilized field crews and employees in order to respond to weather-related power outages as quickly and as safely as possible, should they occur. Trees and tree limbs coated with heavy wet snow and ice can come down onto power lines and electric delivery equipment causing outages.

All customers, even those with smart meters, are reminded to report power outages from mobile phones and devices through the mobile website at bge.com or by calling 877.778.2222. An enhanced power outage map is also available through the mobile and full website, and provides general location and status of current electric power outages in BGE’s service area. Customers can view affected area(s), the number of customers affected by an outage, estimated time of restoration, if available, and the status of the field crew assigned to repair the issue.

"Just as BGE prepares in advance of forecasted winter weather, we thank our customers for preparing for today’s winter storm in advance as well," said Rob Biagiotti, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. "BGE has crews strategically positioned throughout our entire service area, poised to respond to weather-related power outages quickly and safely, should they occur. Hazardous road conditions may sometimes delay our crews’ travel and arrival times, which could extend restoration times. We remind customers to report down wires and outages by calling BGE via our automated phone system at 877.778.2222 or with a mobile device at bge.com."

Heavy, wet snow and ice can cause extensive tree damage to electric delivery equipment. Removing tree debris is a labor and time-intensive process which must be completed before BGE crews can begin working on repairs and can extend the duration of certain outages.

As a reminder, BGE customers who may be elderly, disabled or dependent on electricity for medical equipment (Customers with Special Needs), should always have alternate arrangements in place should they experience an extended power outage.

Customers using a generator or space heater should follow manufacturer use and safety instructions and be sure to locate generators in well-ventilated areas. Improper use of this equipment or other appliances can result in potential deadly carbon monoxide poisoning, fire or other dangerous conditions.

BGE’s restoration priorities are public safety issues and critical facilities such as 911 centers, hospitals and pumping stations. Then restoration is generally scheduled so that the greatest number of customers can be restored as quickly and as safely as possible. However, in cases of extended power outages, consideration is also given to customers who have been without service for the longest.

BGE encourages its customers and employees to proactively prepare for severe weather and the possibility of power outages and to take steps to ensure the safety of their families and property during service interruptions by taking the following steps:

  • Stay informed – Be aware of changing weather conditions and plan ahead. Have a battery-powered radio with a weather band so you can hear emergency information when the power is out.
  • Make a plan – Discuss and document an emergency plan with those in your care. Develop a family emergency plan that includes alternative arrangements should the need arise to leave your home. Make provisions for special needs of any family member such as the elderly, disabled, medically affected or infants. If you are dependent on electric-powered medical equipment, you are encouraged to seek alternate arrangements in the event that your electric service is interrupted.
  • Make a list of emergency phone numbers (including 877.778.2222 to report an outage or a downed wire to BGE) and keep a personal telephone book and one corded phone or a cell phone on hand.
  • Build an emergency kit – Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for you and those in your care. Remember supplies for children, those with special needs and pets.
  • Keep the following items readily available:
    • Flashlights – not candles
    • Fresh batteries
    • Battery-operated clock radio
    • Corded telephone
    • Fully charged cell phone
    • Non-perishable foods
    • Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation
    • First aid kit
    • Local maps
    • Blankets

Customers also should consider filling the fuel tanks of their vehicles in the event a power outage affects service to neighborhood gas stations. For customers who rely on well water, filling a bathtub with water in advance of severe weather is strongly encouraged.

In addition to monitoring current and approaching weather conditions that could result in service interruptions, BGE regularly conducts emergency training drills during which all aspects of storm-related service restoration are tested. BGE’s most recent drill occurred in October and involved a detailed review of BGE’s Electric Delivery Emergency Response Plan to ensure that storm response procedures are up-to-date and in line with industry standards.

Customers can find information on preparing for natural disasters and other emergency events at bge.com, as well as storm preparation information and restoration progress via BGE’s social media sites Twitter and Facebook.

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BGE, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest natural gas and electric utility, delivering 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. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2014 revenues of approximately $27.4 billion. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

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