Company has thousands of personnel ready to respond to power outages.
Extensive damage could result in extended outages.
Everyone should focus on safety as the storm approaches.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – With Tropical Storm Elsa’s imminent landfall expected along Florida’s west coast, Duke Energy is prepared and urging customers to immediately take steps to be safe.
"At Duke Energy, safety always comes first. We actively care about the safety of our customers, crews and employees during and after every storm event," said Todd Fountain, Duke Energy’s Florida storm director. "We're trained and prepared, and we want to ensure our customers are safe and prepared for any impacts from the storm.”
Duke Energy operates in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and the Carolinas, which gives the company the ability to pull company resources from other areas not affected by the storm’s path when severe weather strikes.
The company’s storm center has been activated and about 3,000 Duke Energy crew members, contractors, tree specialists and other personnel are being staged from Pinellas County to north Florida. Duke Energy has brought in additional line workers and support personnel from its service territories in the Carolinas, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Placing crews near areas that will likely be affected by this system allows for the quickest and safest response after a storm passes through.
The company is closely monitoring the weather system, which has the potential to strengthen into a hurricane and is likely to bring heavy rainfall, strong winds and localized flooding to portions of the Duke Energy Florida service area.
In addition to making safety a priority, customers should also prepare for power outages. Despite extensive system improvements and rigorous tree trimming, strong winds, wind-blown debris and flooding can cause power outages. When outages occur, Duke Energy is committed to restoring power as safely and quickly as possible, while keeping customers informed throughout the process.
Duke Energy recommends customers double-check their readiness for possible power outages and offers 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.
- 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. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
- 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.
- Keep a portable radio or TV or a 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.
Customers should stay tuned to local news for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center (NHC), as well as state and local emergency management officials.
For a hurricane kit checklist and important safety information, visit www.ready.gov. In addition, tips on what to do before, during and after a storm can be found in the Storm Center at duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/storm-safety. A checklist serves as a helpful guide, but it's critical before, during and after a storm to follow the instructions and warnings of emergency management officials in your area.
High-water safety reminders
- People who live along lakes and rivers, and in other low-lying areas or areas prone to flooding, should pay close attention to local emergency management officials, National Weather Service and media for changing weather conditions and rising lake and river levels.
- High-water conditions can create navigational hazards, and the public should use caution and adhere to the advice of local emergency management officials before going on area lakes or rivers.
- If rising water threatens your home – or if you evacuate your home – turn off your power at the circuit breaker panel or fuse box.
- Electric current passes easily through water, so stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. Don't drive over – and don't stand near – downed power lines.
- Downed lines will be hard to see in the rain and can potentially be hidden in standing water. If you encounter large pools of standing water, stop, back up and choose another path.
- If your home or business is flooded, Duke Energy cannot reconnect power until the electrical system has been inspected by a licensed electrician. If there is damage, an electrician will need to make repairs and obtain verification from your local building inspection authority before power can be restored.
Power restoration process
Duke Energy focuses on restoring power in a sequence that enables power restoration to public health and safety facilities and to the greatest number of customers as safely and quickly as possible. Click here for information on how Duke Energy restores power.
Customers who experience a power outage can report it the following ways:
- Visit duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device.
- Use the Duke Energy mobile app (download the Duke Energy app on your smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play).
- Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
- Call Duke Energy’s automated outage-reporting system: 800.228.8485.
Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns a diverse generation mix of natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 10,200 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.9 million customers in 35 counties across a 13,000- square-mile service area in Florida.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.
Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Media Contact: Allison Barker