By Pat Ciarrocchi

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As of 8 a.m. Monday, the latest word from PECO is that, across the region, electrical power is not yet affected by Hurricane Sandy.

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Five hundred electrical and tree trimming crews are on duty and waiting.

Additional crews are from PECO’s sister utility ComEd in Chicago, and from as far away as Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi are here to support our storm restoration efforts.

If you are a PECO customer and experience a power outage, you’re asked to call 1-800-841-4141.

Because of the flooding and the high winds, PECO tells us that if you lose power, you should expect a delay in being put back on line. It could take several days to restore power.

Here is some important information from PECO:

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• If you are without power, contact the company at 1-800-841-4141. The more customers who call to report an outage, the more effectively PECO can dispatch crews and restore service. The company’s automated telephone system can quickly record your outage, allowing our Customer Care representatives to remain available to handle reports of dangerous situations.

• Stay away from downed wires, damaged electric equipment, and tree limbs and branches contacting electrical equipment. Always assume PECO’s equipment is energized – even if there is an outage in your neighborhood. Report these dangerous conditions to PECO immediately.

• Turn off and unplug appliances and other devices to prevent possible damage. Remember to keep one light on so you know when service has been restored.

• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Move meats, cheese, milk, etc. into the freezer to stay colder longer. A partially full freezer can keep food frozen for up to 24 hours, and up to 48 hours when full.

• Customers with generators should never connect them directly to home wiring or plug them into household outlets. Generators connected to home wiring can ‘back feed’ into PECO’s electric delivery system, risking serious injury or death to PECO crews. Generators should always be placed outside to prevent carbon-monoxide poisoning.

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