Prepare now for an active 2024 Atlantic hurricane season

Duke Energy constructs a stronger, smarter grid; works year-round to power resilient communities

June 1 marks the beginning of Atlantic hurricane season, a time of year when tropical storms are most likely to form. And it’s expected to be an active one.

“Near-record ocean warmth jumps off the page for me. That alone indicates this could be a very active, perhaps even a hyperactive season,” said Max Thompson, lead meteorologist at Duke Energy. “Lower wind shear in the Atlantic, fueled by a transition from El Nino to neutral or La Nina conditions, also indicates tropical storms could form easily and often this season.”

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To minimize outages and reduce damage during severe weather, Duke Energy regularly maintains trees and other vegetation across its six-state service area.

Duke Energy Meteorology projects 25 named storms, 12 hurricanes and six major hurricanes that are Category 3 or higher, in line with predictions from hurricane researchers at Colorado State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“Hurricanes and other severe storms can affect communities both near and far from the coast,” said Duke Energy spokesperson Jeff Brooks. “Severe storms can strike anywhere, so customers in all areas should have a plan to protect their family and property.”

Duke Energy is prepared for severe weather this summer across its six-state service area and works year-round to improve the grid to make it stronger and more resistant to outages from severe weather. The company is also making the grid more resilient to restore power faster when disruptions occur.

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Report outages during a storm on the Duke Energy mobile app, on or by texting OUT to 57801. Find more information at

"Power is security for our customers," Brooks said. "And when they lose that power, it impacts their lives. It's not just an inconvenience. It disrupts family time, work and productivity. So it's really important that we can get the power back up as safely and quickly as possible."

Duke Energy maintains more than 300,000 miles of power lines across six states, including around 200,000 miles of overhead power lines, about 4.5 million utility poles and over 2 million transformers.

To help strengthen the system against outages from severe weather, the company is upgrading thousands of miles of power lines and utility poles, replacing wood poles with steel in hard-to-reach areas, installing flood wall improvements at substations prone to flooding and is strategically placing some outage-prone lines underground, while also trimming trees and managing vegetation around power lines. 

“We work every day to deliver reliable power to 8.4 million customers,” Brooks said. “Doing that requires strategic investments in our electric grid to make the system stronger and more resilient. The ability to restore power quickly when disruptions occur is essential to our growing communities.”

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Duke Energy’s electric grid is monitored 24/7 from the company’s distribution and energy control centers in each of its regions.

More customers than ever are benefitting from smart, self-healing technology that can automatically reroute power to other lines to restore power faster when an outage occurs. In 2023, self-healing technology helped to avoid more than 1.5 million customer outages, saving more than 3.5 million hours of total lost outage time.

“About half of our self-healing benefits across the enterprise last year were gained during severe storms,” Brooks said. “There may still be damage for crews to repair, but it also means far fewer customers may be impacted by an outage. And those who experience a disruption can benefit from our improved response time.”

Nearly 50% of Duke Energy customers are served by self-healing and automated restoration capabilities. That represents a nearly 65% increase in customers served by these advanced technologies over the last two years.

New equipment, like custom vehicles that can float across rivers, swamps and flooded areas, enable crews to access power poles in hard-to-reach areas. Use of drones and other technologies enable the company to inspect areas more quickly than traditional methods.

Drones and other advanced technologies enable crews to assess and respond to storm damage quicker.

“And when a major storm hits,” Brooks said, “we have teams of line technicians, tree workers and support personnel prepared to safely respond when our customers need us most."

Duke Energy has a comprehensive storm response plan built upon decades of experience and improvement. Advanced forecasting and damage modeling processes help the company to place crews, support resources and equipment strategically ahead of a storm to respond quickly as outages occur.

And partnerships with peer utilities provide additional resources to shorten response times and get communities back on their feet faster. This collaboration is increasingly important as utilities face storms that are growing in frequency and intensity.

Just as Duke Energy prioritizes the safety of its crews and communities, it also encourages its customers to do the same and have a plan in place in case they experience an extended power outage after severe weather. 

Get prepared before the storm

Here are some recommended safety tips:

  • 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, water, nonperishable foods and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm hits.
  • Have a plan in place 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.
  • Charge cellphones, computers and other electronic devices in advance of storms to stay connected to important safety and response information. Consider purchasing portable chargers and make sure they are fully charged as well.
  • Download the free Red Cross Emergency app for safety tips ahead of the storm, and response activities as communities recover.
  • Consider purchasing a portable radio to monitor weather forecasts and get important updates from state and local officials.
  • For more tips on how to prepare for storm season and how Duke Energy can help, please visit For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy).