CHARLOTTE, N.C. - As Hurricane Sandy begins to make its way up the East Coast, Duke Energy is making preparations for possible effects from the storm in Florida and the Carolinas.
Employees are monitoring the potential path of the storm and implementing early phases of the company's comprehensive storm plan.
Customers of Progress Energy Florida and Progress Energy Carolinas (Duke Energy subsidiaries) should pay particular attention to the storm, and review their own safety plans, as well.
Current forecasts keep the storm offshore as it passes Florida and the Carolinas over the weekend, but there is potential for high wind and rain in areas along the coast that could result in outages in those areas.
Given the size of the storm, portions of central North Carolina and South Carolina could also see effects from the outer bands of the storm, including portions of Duke Energy Carolinas service area.
Duke Energy will continue to monitor and prepare for the storm and will deploy company crews as needed to restore service as safely and quickly as possible after the storm passes.
New tools to track outages and restoration
Customers who experience an outage during the storm should call the automated outage-reporting system for their respective utility:
- Progress Energy Florida: 1-800-228-8485
- Progress Energy Carolinas: 1-800-419-6356
- Duke Energy Carolinas: 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766)
Customers may also report an outage or view current outages online:
- Progress Energy Carolinas/Progress Energy Florida: www.progress-energy.com/storm
- Duke Energy Carolinas: http://www.duke-energy.com/
Progress Energy customers may also report outages online using their smart phone at m.progress-energy.com. Customers are advised to register their account prior to the storm in order to report outages online or from a mobile device.
Duke Energy utilities will also use social media channels to keep customers informed should significant outages occur as a result of the storm:
- Progress Energy Florida on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ProgEnergyFL
- Progress Energy Florida on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ProgressEnergyFlorida
- Progress Energy Carolinas on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ProgEnergyNC_SC
- Progress Energy Carolinas on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ProgressEnergyCarolinas
- Duke Energy Carolinas on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DukeEnergyStorm
- Duke Energy Carolinas on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DukeEnergyStorm
Even though the forecast track for Hurricane Sandy projects the most damaging winds of the storm to stay offshore, Duke Energy encourages customers to take steps to ensure their safety before, during and after the storm.
When the storm threatens
- Check supplies and make sure you have the following items: portable radio with fresh batteries, flashlight, first-aid kit, canned or packaged food that can be prepared without cooking or refrigeration, several days’ supply of drinking water (one gallon per person, per day), a full tank of gas in your car and cash.
- Unplug major, non-vital appliances. Advanced surge-protection systems will protect your home from most power surges, but will not prevent damage from a direct lighting strike.
- Pay attention to local television and radio broadcasts for storm position, intensity and expected landfall.
- Prepare for high winds by boarding up or taping windows and other glass, anchoring objects outside and bracing the garage door.
- Secure boats and trailers on land and check mooring lines of boats in the water.
- Put important papers in watertight containers (take them if you evacuate) and move valuables to upper stories of your home.
- Fill your bathtub with water for sanitary purposes. Because water conducts electricity, it is not safe to run water during a storm.
- If you know someone who relies on electric-powered life-support equipment, be prepared to move that person to a facility outside of the storm’s projected path to avoid the risk of an extended power outage.
When the storm hits
- Stay indoors in an inside room away from doors and windows, electrical outlets and water pipes.
- Keep television and radio tuned for information from official sources. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
- If you evacuate, shut off gas, water and electricity (electricity can be shut off at the breaker box). Take blankets, first-aid supplies and other essential items with you to the nearest shelter.
After the storm has passed
- Never go near downed power lines. Always assume they are energized and extremely dangerous. If someone suffers an electric shock, call 911 or your local rescue squad immediately. Even minor shocks may cause serious health problems later.
- Check for electrical damage inside your home, such as frayed wires, sparks or the smell of burning insulation. If you find damage, don’t turn your power on until an electrician inspects your system and makes necessary repairs.
- Walk and drive cautiously. Watch out for debris-filled streets and weakened bridges. Snakes and insects can be a problem after storms.
- Use your emergency water supply or boil water before drinking it until local officials deem the water supply safe. Report broken sewer or water mains.
- Make temporary repairs to protect property from further damage or looting. Beware of unscrupulous contractors.
If the power goes out
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Food usually stays frozen about 48 hours. A refrigerator can keep food cold for about four hours. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out.
- Do not connect a generator directly to your home’s electrical system. It is dangerous to you, your neighbors and utility workers. Follow manufacturer’s directions regarding connecting appliances directly to your generator.
- In any power outage, utility crews restore service as quickly as possible, starting with the largest lines serving the most people.
Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with more than $100 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.1 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.