1/6/2014
Appalachian Power encourages customers to prepare for winter weather

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Appalachian Power is encouraging its customers to prepare for power outages as gusty winds and arctic air not seen in the region in years sends temperatures and wind chills below zero.

“Our system is designed to handle customers’ electricity demand in both hot and cold temperature extremes, so we do not anticipate widespread outages due to cold temperatures,” said Phil Wright, Appalachian Power’s vice president of distribution operations. “Our engineering staff has reviewed equipment where we could have load problems and is taking action as needed.

“However, high winds Sunday night caused some scattered outages, and we anticipate more of that as this weather system passes through. Our crews are addressing these outages as they occur.”

Customers who do lose service can help speed restoration by turning off all electric appliances, including heating and air conditioning systems, until 10 to 30 minutes after power has been restored. This step helps prevent circuit overload situations that can occur during extreme cold weather when electric demand is high.

The latest weather information suggests that rapidly falling temperatures Monday will lead to very cold temperatures, strong, gusty winds and dangerous wind chill values as low as  -30 degrees Fahrenheit through Tuesday night. Prolonged exposure could lead to frostbite or hypothermia, and could complicate restoration efforts when outages occur.

“Working outside in such extreme conditions not only is difficult but also is dangerous,” Wright said. “We will take precautions to protect our employees, while still addressing customer outages.”

When the temperatures plummet, demand for electricity often goes up as customers turn up the thermostat to counter the bitter cold. Winds also can bring down tree limbs and power lines, knocking out service.

Customers can report outages to Appalachian Power by calling the customer service center toll-free. In Tennessee, the number is 1-800-967-4237; Virginia, 1-800-956-4237; and West Virginia, 1-800-982-4237.  During times of high call volume callers may hear a recorded message and can leave a voice message about the outage.

Those customers with access to a laptop, smartphone or tablet have the option to report an outage online at www.AppalachianPower.com.  They also can track their individual outage at www.AppalachianPower.com/MyOutage with a user ID and password.

Customers can prepare for outages by assembling an emergency kit with flashlights and fresh batteries; battery-powered radios or televisions; candles, matches, or lighters; water for drinking and cooking; portable heater (oil or gas); camping equipment (sleeping bags, camp stoves, lanterns); canned goods and a manual can opener and manufacturers' instructions for power-operated equipment such as the garage door. Customers should charge cell phones and have a mobile charger for their automobiles.

Appalachian Power provides electricity to 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.

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Appalachian Power uses Flurry Analytics Service (provided by Yahoo) in order to improve its mobile apps. Flurry’s privacy policy governs the use of this information.

Also, Appalachian Power reserves the right to share any aggregated information (i.e., non-personally identifiable information) with any third parties for any reason, unless prohibited by law.

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This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

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