Carrie Devorah’s Testimony In the Matter of Major Service Outages 10-17 2012:

17 Aug

MS. DEVORAH:  “Before I testify, I want to address your point as to the gentleman who I think was a lobbyist. To narrow the 48 hours, You need a uniform handbook that works across country and it should be PDF’d or an audio or a print, but that way’ as they’re traveling, they’re reading up. It was a system that was implemented in England when they were bringing officers in cross-country to deal with events happening down in London. So rather than alI the other social networking, develop a book that people can read.

I Iistened to PEPCO’s testimony.

I heard stats. I heard too many assumptions, and I believe I heard bunk. I lost PEPCO service. I Iost a recently stacked freezer and fridge. And PEPCO told me that they don’t — not only do they not refund for service days lost, they don’t refund for food lost. There were no hotel rooms. If somebody had a car to drive with, they could search. Tourists were packing hotels July 4th weekend. Hotels were gouging.

 And the nearest available hotels I was told the morning T woke up — were as far out as Dulles.

I met Herb Jones from the OPC, and he encouraged me to come and testify, and I’m going to share our conversation. PEPCO’s billing practices I believe need to be investigated. When I call PEPCO to ask about my bill, I’m always being asked if I want to pay the next bill’s month (sic) in advance. My bills post the black-outed months, when we’ve had multiple service interruptions, don’t drop. I was listening to the gentleman who said that we have estimated usages if I don’t have a smart account. I think you have an inconsistency system-wide, but my bill post the blackout was the same as before the blackout, and I had no service for about five days.

My tower, which is the Vaughan Place — I think I am near this lady here, my neighbor — is filled with old people, young people, ill people, disabled. We have no elevators. Our back-up generators were out. The weather, if you remember, was like 100-plus. We had no air conditioning or lights. And I was actually just starting to walk after major surgery. So if I went down the stairs, I wasn’t going back up.

 My building had no idea who needed help, medical or otherwise. Everything was all on electric. We had no electric. So PEPCO in D.C. I’m proposing how to develop a system to make sure that this data is discovered — it’s discoverable, that it’s on file before emergencies, and that it’s kept in a paper format, because this presumption of social networking, electric — we just got proved yet again that it isn’t working all the  time.

So the reality check with all of these apps and the PDAs and — I was at Adweek (phonetic) where they talked about everything going mobile. If you look around the room here, and on the fringe of the room, many of these people don’t have PDAs and mobiles, and they’re not reachable by these systems that money is being invested in a large way into. So the old-fashioned social- networking actually is face to face. I think those campaigns are learning that. PEPCO says the blackout was act of God. It wasn’t. It was an act of grid. I lived on this side of the table. I had no electric. The people on that side of my hallway had complete electric. So it was not an Act of God, it was an Act of Grid, an act of incompetence, and as I’m learning, because I am a new resident here, something these people have been dealing with for years. The blackout realty rammed home that we’re not prepared for emergencies in D.C. And it’s not just a blackout. It’s an event.

It’s not an if, it is a when.

So PEPCO won’t give me back credit for my monies lost of a recently filled fridge. It’s not going to give me back the multiple times that I have lost electric, which also included Comcast and my triple-pay package. So when Herb and I spoke when we met, I said that they need to be penalized, but you already know the money is not coming back to the people. But I have a solution which comes from the background of experience. I used to live in earthquake country.

Companies like PEPCO are tightwads. The way to get money out of them is they will get incentives if they offer to barter a package of emergency preparedness for the people, for the citizens, which should include things like a solar-powered radio, which you have to qet the batteries for also, and have it prepared and already sunned up, as I learned the hard way.

They should have a solar-powered and battery-operated flashlight, which also needs batteries. They should have the glow-in-the-dark neon sticks.

The presumption from the Emerqency Preparedness expert is a three to seven-day preparedness of food. I don’t know the proper name for the military food packaqes, but three to seven days worth of that and water.

There also needs to be the use of the ham radio network. That is what kept Katrina going when the communications went down. Through contacts I had, we actually had a network going through — out of the country, back in, that got the communications. We need to utilize some of the old-fashioned ways.

I, as a mom, who had kids during the earthquake, don’t put money aside in the packages, don’t put candies. And the underwear, by the time you get to use it, the tidy-whities are too tight for your boys, who have gone from size 4 to over 6 feet tall. so the incentive has got to be on your end… okay, we know you’re not going to give money to the people. You need to provide a kit. And you need to hire someone on board who will have the military experience as in terms of the kit preparedness, also in terms of the evacuation.

I moved to D.C. in 2003. I went to hear an event where Jeff Herold, Special Ops District 2, spoke. And then they spoke and said that they had four hours of a guesstimated — estimate time on 911, and apologized.

If you’re looking clearly around D.C. when you’re driving around, the city is not getting smaller. It is getting exponentially bigger. So if you can’t handle what’s going on and just happened July 4th weekend, you’re not going to be handling it going forward. And how are you going to move and deal with over 700,000 residents? We have a commuter traffic here of over – it varies, the last time I heard the stat, 2-I/2 million per day.

And I’m going to ask — I mean, basically, that’s my testimony. I would love to make a dig at PEPCO and actually say that if my bills are getting estimated, then I think your salaries should be estimated based upon performance. And in acknowledgment of my kind Iady here, I’ve been here since 10:00, likely. I’m rehabbing’ still getting past an injury. I’ve got a car in a parking lot, and if you’re okay if I excuse myself, would that be okay?

KANE: That would be fine.

MS. DEVORAH: I’m trying to get – think outside the box, and they’re not going to give us money, but you need to prepare us for the — not the if, but the when.


9 CHAIRMAN KANE: Thank you very much.

l-0 MS. DEVORAH: Thank you.


2 Responses to “Carrie Devorah’s Testimony In the Matter of Major Service Outages 10-17 2012:”

  1. Stuart Dillon August 23, 2013 at 4:12 am #

    glad to subscribe Carrie, looking forward to listening to you

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