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TMCNet:  Met-Ed, Penelec and West Penn Power Apps Can Be Used to Report Service Interruptions Caused By Nor'easter

[February 08, 2013]

Met-Ed, Penelec and West Penn Power Apps Can Be Used to Report Service Interruptions Caused By Nor'easter

READING, Pa., Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- If the wet, heavy snow and strong winds from the nor'easter cause power interruptions, mobile optimized websites and new mobile apps for Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed), Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec) and West Penn Power can be used by customers to report their outages and learn about the companies' overall restoration efforts.

The free app is available for Apple® iPhone® and Android(TM) smartphones. Met-Ed, Penelec and West Penn Power customers can use the keyword "FirstEnergy" to locate the apps in the online store. A new mobile website is also available to customers who use a smartphone to visit www.met-ed.com, www.penelec.com, and www.west-penn-power.com.

Features of the websites and apps include: -- A simple power outage reporting process and access to the company's 24/7 Power Center outage maps; -- A click-to-call feature to reach customer service and links to the company's social media sites; -- One-click access to the full company website from each page of the mobile site.

Even if a customer's home is without power as a result of severe weather, mobile phones can be charged with a car charger. By using a smartphone, customers will continue to have online access until Met-Ed, Penelec and West Penn Power are able to restore electric service.

In addition to the mobile app, Met-Ed, Penelec and West Penn Power customers can find the latest outage information via Twitter: @Penelec, @Met_Ed and @W_Penn_Power In a large-scale weather event such as the nor'easter, Met-Ed, Penelec and West Penn Power encourage customers to plan ahead for the possibility of electric service interruptions by following these tips: Safety Tips During Outages -- Customers who are without power are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report the outage.

-- Keep flashlights and fresh batteries in the home. Avoid using candles, especially around children and pets.

-- If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill your bathtub with fresh water.

-- Make sure you have a portable radio so you can stay tuned to your local radio station for updates on our progress to restore power.

-- Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.

-- Have a hard-wired telephone or a charged cell phone handy in the event you need to report your electricity is out.

-- Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person.

-- Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame appliances as heat sources - they can cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to build up in your home.

Downed Wires -- Customers should immediately report downed wires to their utility or local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it's no longer carrying electricity.

-- Don't try to remove trees or tree limbs from power lines. Wait for utility crews to arrive.

Customer Generators -- Emergency power generators offer an option for customers needing or wanting uninterrupted service. However, to ensure the safety of the home's occupants as well as that of utility company employees who may be working on power lines in the area, the proper generator should be selected and installed by a qualified electrician. When operating a generator, the power coming into the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.

FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies - including Met-Ed, Penelec and West Penn Power - form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia. Its generation subsidiaries control more than 20,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro, pumped-storage hydro and other renewables. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

SOURCE FirstEnergy http://rt.prnewswire.com/rt.gif NewsItemId=CL57170&Transmission_Id=201302081340PR_NEWS_USPR_____CL57170&DateId=20130208

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