Meteorologists at Duke Energy and other organizations project an above-average hurricane season, which would be the sixth straight.
Hurricane season is June 1 through Nov. 30, and Duke Energy Meteorology projects 19 named storms, including nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes.
If you live in coastal North Carolina, South Carolina or Florida, ready.gov urges you to have a plan. If you live inland in those states, major hurricanes often bring high winds and heavy rain. You should prepare, too.
Duke Energy makes improvements throughout the year to increase reliability and better prevent outages across its six-state service area. These improvements are especially important during storm season.
“We have thousands of dedicated line technicians, tree workers and support teams ready to respond safely throughout hurricane season and beyond when our customers count on us most,” said Scott Batson, chief distribution officer.
Duke Energy has a comprehensive storm response plan built on decades of experience. Forecasting and damage modeling processes help the company place crews and equipment ahead of the storm to respond quickly as outages occur. And partnerships among utilities provide additional resources to shorten response times and get communities back on their feet faster. This collaboration is important as utilities face storms that are increasing in frequency and severity.
Grid strengthening work enhances Duke Energy’s storm response.
The company installs stronger poles and upgrades wires, placing outage-prone lines underground, trimming vegetation near power lines and installing self-healing technology that can detect power outages and reroute power to other lines to restore power faster. In 2021, self-healing technology helped the company avoid more than 700,000 extended customer outages, saving more than 1.1 million hours of lost outage time.
In addition to high winds, major storms also cause flooding that can disrupt service. Duke Energy has reinforced flood barriers and relocated equipment at more than 13 substations in the Carolinas, including substations in Whiteville, N.C., this year, and in Nichols, S.C.
Storm response plans evolve, and the company uses new technologies and process improvements to help crews restore power faster for customers.
Before the storm
- Create (or update) an emergency supply kit to save time later. Include everything you would need for at least two weeks: medicine, water, non-perishable food, and items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, soap and face coverings.
- Use a portable radio, TV or NOAA weather radio to monitor weather forecasts and information from state and local officials.
- Charge cellphones, computers and electronic devices. Consider buying portable chargers and make sure they are charged.
- Maintain a plan to move family members to a safe location in case an extended power outage occurs or evacuation is required.
- Review insurance policies and include copies of the policies and other important documents in your emergency supply kit in a waterproof container.
- Pet owners should arrange to stay at evacuation shelters that accept pets, friends' or family members' homes, or pet-friendly hotels.
After the storm
- 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 are in, stay in the car. If you must get out due to a fire or life-threatening situation, jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
Resources: duke-energy.com/StormTips, ready.gov, hurricane preparations, Centers for Disease Control. For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy).