RICHMOND, Va., March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to customer interest and just in time for the approaching winter storm, Dominion Virginia Power and North Carolina Power have made it faster and easier to report and check the status of power outages when using the company's website at www.dom.com via computer, smartphone or other mobile device.
All that is needed is the account number or 10-digit phone number associated with the account, and the last four digits of the customer's Social Security number, federal tax identification number or PIN. This is used to confirm the location of the outage. The customer will be asked for contact information to enable Dominion to obtain additional information about the outage if necessary.
"Accurate and timely information is important, especially when your power is out," said Gianna C. Clark, vice president, customer service operations. "The sooner we know there is a problem, the quicker we can respond. Whatever works best and is most convenient for the customer – smartphones, mobile and tablet devices, personal computers or telephone – works best for us, too."Customers also can report power outages and receive outage-related information using smartphones and the company's mobile website. A user accessing the company's www.dom.com website using a smartphone will automatically be connected to a mobile website that enables customers to report a power outage, obtain outage updates and view power outages by county and city. Dominion's toll-free customer service line at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) is another way to report an outage or downed power line. Customers no longer need to enroll or log into "Manage Your Account" to report an outage. However, Dominion recommends setting up an online account to take advantage of other features such as accessing and updating current account information; selecting payment options; starting, stopping or transferring service; reviewing billing, payment, and usage history; and learning about and enrolling in energy conservation programs and the Dominion Green Power SM program. Customers can access the new Web features by visiting www.dom.com, clicking on the "customers" link at the top of the page, selecting Virginia or North Carolina, and clicking the " Report a Power Outage" button. Customers using smartphones will automatically be connected to a mobile website. Ready for the storm: Dominion is prepared to respond to the winter storm expected to move through much of Virginia today and tomorrow. Company trucks are stocked and fueled, and crews are ready to respond to outages. The company expects heavy, wet snow moving from southwest to northeast from the storm, which could knock trees and limbs into power lines and create outages. The exact timing and strength of the storm may vary. Please pay attention to weather reports and take these common-sense steps to prepare for possible outages: Before the storm:
- Before a storm arrives, establish an online account – "Manage Your Account" – with Dominion at www.dom.com/service. so you can easily report an outage if it occurs, and update it with your telephone number, including your cell phone number. This will ensure the accurate reporting of your power outage.
- Make sure you have a battery-operated radio, multiple flashlights, a battery-operated clock, and extra batteries.
- Turn off and unplug any non-essential electrical equipment in your home.
- Make sure all prescription medications are filled.
- Have a full tank of gas in your car.
- If you have pets, please make sure you have provided for them as well.
- Turn off major appliances such as heat pumps, water heaters and stoves. Unplug other appliances such as TVs, stereos, microwaves and computers. This will prevent damage to appliances and possible overloads to the company's system when power is restored.
- Post a list of contents on your freezer door to minimize the number of times you open it.
- Leave one lamp or light on so you will be able to recognize when power is restored.
- If using portable or camp-type stoves or lanterns for cooking and lighting, ensure that the area is adequately ventilated.
- Listen to your local radio station on your car or battery-powered radio for regular news and weather updates. Don't rely on your neighbors to report your outage. Contact Dominion to report your outage.
- Stay away from fallen wires, flooded areas and debris. Treat all fallen wires and anything touching them as though they are energized.
- Follow safe operating procedures for generators. Never operate one inside your home or in an enclosed space, such as a garage.
- Do not connect portable generators directly to the electrical system of your home. Electricity could flow backward onto Dominion's power lines and endanger lives. Either have a qualified electrician perform the work or plug appliances directly into the generator using the proper-sized extension cords.
- Exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide and can be deadly, so run your generator outside with proper ventilation. Store the fuel for your generator safely.
- Visually inspect the area around your electric meter. If you detect or suspect any damage, call Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).