Published 4:26 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Information below was provided courtesy of Duke Energy.

As forecasts increasingly predict that Hurricane Florence is expected to significantly impact North Carolina and South Carolina, Duke Energy is preparing for the storm and urges customers to do the same.

The company expects widespread damage and power outages as Hurricane Florence is forecasted to be a large and extremely dangerous storm system, packing fierce winds and torrential rainfall.

Historical data and company experience indicate that total power restoration from a storm of this magnitude could take multiple days to several weeks – depending on the extent of damage and post-storm conditions, such as ongoing high winds and severe flooding, after the storm passes though the region.

In advance of the hurricane, Duke Energy is moving power restoration crews from its Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Florida utilities so that they are staged in the Carolinas and ready to help the company’s Carolinas-based crews restore power as soon as it is safe to do so.

In addition, line technicians and workers are checking equipment, supplies and inventories to ensure adequate materials are available to make repairs and restore power outages.

The company also is working with the Southeastern Electric Exchange to secure additional crews from other energy companies to assist.

Restoring power after a massive storm can be extremely challenging for utility repair crews, as travel and work conditions can be impacted by high winds and widespread flooding, making repair work lengthy and difficult.

Before power can be restored, crews first must assess the extent of damage — which can take 24 hours or more — to determine which crews, equipment and supplies will be needed before repairs can begin.

Duke Energy offers the the following tips to help you and your family stay safe if the power goes out:

  • Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized as well as trees, limbs or anything in contact with lines.
  • Create (or update) an emergency supply kit to save valuable time later. The kit should include everything an individual or family would need for at least two weeks, especially medicines and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm strikes.
  • Maintain a supply of water and non-perishable food.
  • Keep a portable radio or TV, or NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather forecasts and important information from state and local officials.
  • Charge cellphones, computers and other electronic devices in advance of the storm to stay connected to important safety and response information. Consider purchasing portable chargers and make sure they are fully charged as well.
  • Maintain a plan to move family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe, alternative location in case an extended power outage occurs or evacuation is required.
  • Pet owners can make arrangements to stay at evacuation shelters that accept pets, friends’ or family members’ homes, or pet-friendly hotels.
  • Review insurance policies, and include extra copies of the policies and other important documents in your emergency supply kit (ideally in a waterproof container).

Duke Energy Progress customers  can report outages at 800-419-6356.