RICHMOND, Va., May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hurricanes and severe storms are a staple of summer in Virginia. Dominion Virginia Power is making sure it's prepared for the June 1 start of hurricane season and urging its customers to get ready, too.
The company works year-round with state and local authorities to make sure it can respond quickly to the extensive damage that major storms, especially hurricanes, can cause. As the start of hurricane season approaches, Dominion also conducts refresher training and multi-day emergency preparedness and response drills.
Virginians can save money if they purchase hurricane-related supplies and equipment from May 25-31 when some of it will be exempt from state sales tax. Information is available at: http://www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=HurricanePreparednessEquipmentHoliday
Here are some important tips for customers when a storm approaches:
- Treat all downed lines and anything touching them as energized and dangerous. Be sure your children know the danger.
- Report and check the status of power outages when using the company's website at www.dom.com via smartphone, other mobile device or computer. You will need the account number or 10-digit phone number listed on the account, and the last four digits of your Social Security number, federal tax identification number or PIN. Phone numbers can be updated online through Manage Your Account or by calling our phone number update line at 1-800-222-0401.
- You also can report an outage using Dominion's toll-free service number, 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357). Program this number into your phone's memory or keep it handy so you can find it if the lights go out.
- Put together an emergency preparedness kit with needed supplies such as flashlights, water, medicines, portable radios, extra batteries and canned goods.
- Look after neighbors and relatives who may need assistance if they lose power.
- Check out the hurricane evacuation guidelines available at the Virginia Department of Transportation's Web site: http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hurricane_default.asp. Also see the information on the Virginia Department of Emergency Management's Web site at: http://www.vaemergency.com/readyvirginia/stayinformed/hurricanes.
- If you experience an outage, report it and then turn off major appliances such as heat pumps, water heaters and stoves. Unplug other appliances such as TVs, stereos, microwaves and computers. This may extend the life of appliances and reduce possible overloads to the company's system when power is restored. Leave one lamp or light on so you will be able to recognize when power is restored.
- Follow safe operating procedures for generators. Never operate one inside your home or in an enclosed space, such as a garage. Do not hook them directly to the electrical system of your home. Electricity could flow backwards onto our power lines and endanger repair crews. The correct, safe technique is to follow the instructions provided with the generator and always use proper-sized extension cords.