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SWEPCO prepared for winter weather, offers tips for customers to be ready

SHREVEPORT, La. (Feb. 22, 2022) – Southwestern Electric Power Co. is prepared for this week’s winter weather and urges customers to be prepared. Freezing rain, sleet and snow are forecast for parts of SWEPCO’s service territory, especially Northwest and Western Arkansas from Wednesday to Thursday.

“Freezing rain, ice and snow can cause problems for the electrical system because their weight brings down trees and power lines,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Distribution Region Operations. “Severe winter weather also makes roads hazardous for access to make repairs,” Seidel said.

“We are monitoring the winter weather and preparing our crews, vehicles and supplies to restore power as safely and quickly as possible when outages occur. In addition, we are mobilizing support personnel to be ready to respond in areas forecasted to be impacted,” Seidel said.

SWEPCO has also strengthened its cold weather preparedness and operations at generating facilities.

Customer preparations

SWEPCO urges customers to be prepared for winter weather.

·                Plan ahead

o   Develop a plan for you and your family. Decide now what you’ll do if there’s an extended power outage.

o   If you or a family member relies on uninterrupted electric service for health reasons, make a plan now in case there are extended outages.

o   Make sure your contact information – including your cell number – is current with family, friends and others.

·                Stay connected, report outages and check power restoration status:

o   Download the SWEPCO mobile app: SWEPCO.com/App.

o   Sign up to get SWEPCO alerts: SWEPCO.com/Alerts.

o   Follow SWEPCO on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

·                What to do before, during and after the storm

o   Learn more about preparing an emergency kit, what to do when the lights go out, and other topics. Visit SWEPCO.com/Safety or SWEPCO.com/stormprep.

·                Be safe

o   Downed lines – All downed lines should be considered dangerous — they can carry an electric current that can cause serious or even fatal injuries. If you see a fallen wire, stay away and keep others away, including children and pets. Call SWEPCO at 1-888-218-3919 or 911 immediately.

o   Caution! – Always use caution with any alternate sources of lighting, cooking, cooling or heating. Never operate lanterns, heaters, generators, fuel-fired stoves or burn charcoal without proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and fires.

o   Portable generator safety – If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your home’s main electrical panel. This can “back-feed” electricity into outside utility lines, creating the danger of electrocution for repair crews and the public. Instead, read the manufacturer’s instructions, and only plug essential appliances directly into the generator.

o   Be careful when driving or walking near all utility work zones.

Winter energy-saving tips

·       Lower your thermostat setting – Start at 68 degrees, as comfort permits.

·       Keep filters clean – Dirty filters cause heating equipment to work harder and use more energy.

·       Close the gaps – Weatherstrip around doors, windows and other parts of the house.

·       Have your HVAC system inspected.

·       Inspect the attic – Check insulation, including around ducts.

·       Check the fireplace – Close the damper tightly when not in use.

·       Reverse your fans – Set fans to clockwise – opposite of summer – to move warm air to the rest of the room.

·       Let the sunshine in – Open curtains and blinds on the sunny side of the house; keep closed on the shady side.

About Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO)

SWEPCO, an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, serves more than 543,000 customers in Northwest and Central Louisiana, Northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle, and Western Arkansas. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at SWEPCO.com. Connect with us at Facebook.com/SWEPCO, Twitter.com/SWEPCOnews, Instagram.com/swepco, Youtube.com/SWEPCOtv and LinkedIn.com/company/swepco.

About American Electric Power (AEP)

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is powering a cleaner, brighter energy future for its customers and communities. AEP’s approximately 16,700 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to safely deliver reliable and affordable power to 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,900 megawatts of renewable energy. The company’s plans include growing its renewable generation portfolio to approximately 50% of total capacity by 2030. AEP is on track to achieve an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2000 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieve net zero by 2050. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, which provides innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.

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