Duke Energy invests billions in hurricane preparedness; urges customers to be ready as well

Share This Story

  • Company has invested more than $5 billion since 2004 maintaining and strengthening its power delivery systems in the Southeast

  • Residents should also take appropriate action to be prepared for storms

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. and CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hurricane season begins June 1, but preparing for these massive storms never stops – for Duke Energy or its customers.

“An important part of being safe is being prepared,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy state president – Florida. “We prepare for storms every day of the year and we want to help our customers get ready now so they can react quickly during a storm.”

The company has spent more than $5 billion since 2004 maintaining and strengthening its power delivery systems in Florida and the Carolinas.

In addition to trimming trees and inspecting / replacing wood poles, the company has invested in grid automation and smart grid technologies, which improve service reliability and reduces the length and number of outages year-round.

In the Carolinas, the company recently announced a 10-year, $13 billion investment – Power / Forward Carolinas – that includes such grid hardening efforts as moving underground some overhead services that are routinely affected by dense vegetation and retrofitting about 400,000 transformers with new technology to prevent animal interference and lightning strikes.  

Over the last two years, Duke Energy has hosted dozens of storm preparation sessions and downed power line demonstrations, reaching thousands of emergency first-responders and customers across its service territories.

Click here for a video of a demonstration and to read more about safety around downed power lines.

Duke Energy and its staff of meteorologists are constantly monitoring weather conditions, preparing to do whatever is necessary to maintain its high level of reliability and to quickly react when the power goes out. Here is additional information regarding what our meteorologists expect during the 2017 hurricane season.

“We have seen the devastation a hurricane can cause in the Carolinas with Hurricane Matthew last year,” said Tim Tripp, Duke Energy’s Carolinas storm director and vice president of engineering and technical customer relations. “While we can’t control the weather, we do prepare for storms every day of the year. We urge our customers to get ready now so they can react quickly during a storm, hurricane or severe weather.”

The following tips can help you and your family stay safe if severe weather strikes and the power goes out:

  • 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.

  • Ensure first-aid supplies and medicines are readily available.

  • Review insurance policies, and include extra copies of the policies and other important documents in the emergency supply kit (ideally in a waterproof container).

  • Keep a portable radio or TV, or NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather forecasts and official information.

  • Maintain a plan to move family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe, alternate 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.

For a “Hurricane Kit Checklist," important safety tips and more information on what to do before, during and after a storm, visit https://www.duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/storm-safety.

For more tips on general emergency preparedness, visit www.ready.gov. In Florida, you can also consult the Florida Division of Emergency Management at http://www.floridadisaster.org.

Outage reporting and status updates

At any time, customers can report power outages by:

  • Visiting www.duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device

  • Texting OUT to 57801 (Standard text and data charges may apply)

  • Calling the automated outage-reporting system at 800.769.3766 for Duke Energy Carolinas customers and 800.419.6356 for Duke Energy Progress customers

  • In Florida, calling the automated outage-reporting system at 800.228.8485

For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy).

About Duke Energy

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company’s Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.

Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

24-Hour media line: 800.559.3853