4 tips to keep safe in winter outages

How you can prepare for winter weather-related power outages

Just as summer brings destructive thunderstorms, winter brings its own challenge: ice. Wet snow, freezing rain or ice can result in power outages because the weight causes tree limbs to fall on or touch power lines. Widespread outages usually don’t occur until there is more than 6 inches of wet snow or 1/4 inch of ice.


Duke Energy meteorologists monitor conditions throughout the year, and tree crews trim unruly trees to reduce outages, but weather can be unpredictable making some outages unavoidable.

Here are a few things you can do to get ready for the next winter storm:

Reporting outages

Customers who experience an outage during the storm can:

  • Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
  • Report or view current outages online at duke-energy.com/outages

Duke Energy also will provide updates on Facebook and Twitter if significant outages occur.

  • Keep a supply of charged and up-to-date flashlights, batteries, blankets, bottled water, nonperishable food and medicine. Also have a portable, battery-operated radio, TV or NOAA radio on standby.
  • Make alternative living arrangements for family members with special medical needs, and monitor weather forecasts for extended outages.
  • Stay away from fallen or sagging power lines. Consider all lines energized as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. Report downed power lines to Duke Energy. If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you must get out due to a life-threatening situation, do your best to jump out and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground. Here’s a visual of what you should do.
  • If you are driving and encounter emergency responders or other work crews, remember to move over.

Click here for tips on reducing your winter energy bill.