Duke Energy preps for historic Irma
The Journal staff
As forecasts increasingly predict that Hurricane Irma is expected to have significant impacts in North Carolina and South Carolina, Duke Energy is preparing for the storm and encouraging customers to do so as well.
“Irma is one of the most powerful storms we’ve seen in the Atlantic since we started keeping record,” Duke Energy lead meteorologist Steve Leyton said. “While the track of the storm could still change in the coming days, it is important for people who live in its potential path to make plans now and prepare their homes and families.”
Duke Energy has a detailed storm response plan. As part of the company’s preparation for Hurricane Irma, line technicians and others are checking equipment, supplies and inventories to ensure there are adequate materials to make repairs and restore power outages.
To stay safe if severe weather strikes and the power goes out, Duke Energy encourages customers to 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.
Duke Energy recommends maintaining a supply of water and non-perishable food and keeping a portable radio, TV or NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather forecasts and important information from state and local officials.
Other suggestions include charging cellphones, computers and other electronic devices in advance of the storm to stay connected to important safety and response information. Officials also urge customers to consider purchasing portable chargers, ensuring they are fully charged.
Duke Energy urges customers to have a plan for moving 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.
Duke Energy recommends staying away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging and to consider all lines energized, as well as trees, limbs or anything in contact with lines.
“If a power line falls across a car that you’re in, stay in the car. If you must get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet,” Duke Energy corporate communications representative Dave Scanzoni said. “Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.”
Duke Energy customers may report all power line hazards by calling (800) 769-3766. Duke Energy Progress customers may call (800) 419-6356. Customers may also call these numbers to report power outages or text OUT to 57801.
For a hurricane kit checklist, important safety tips and more information on what to do before, during and after a storm, visit duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/storm-safety.