North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are closely monitoring the path of Hurricane Florence and are ready to respond to any outages that may occur. Because electric cooperatives are based in the communities they serve, they can address any impacts as quickly as possible and begin restoration efforts as soon as conditions are safe.
“The cooperatives’ top priority is serving members and their communities, and we will do everything we can to minimize disruption to service while keeping members informed and safe,” said Nelle Hotchkiss, chief operating officer for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “We urge everyone to prepare now by making a plan, assembling an emergency kit and following the instructions of local officials.”
Some simple things you can do before the storm hits are:
- Make a plan. Outline a communications and evacuation plan for your family. If you have any pets or livestock, include them in your plan.
- Assemble an emergency kit. It should include a three-day supply of non-perishable food, water and medication, as well as any other items you might need in case of a power outage, such as a flashlight, radio and batteries.
- Charge your cell phone. This will allow you to stay connected to emergency and safety updates even if the power goes out.
- Secure outdoor items. Safely store lawn furniture, decorations, toys, garbage cans and other items that can be brought indoors. Tie down larger objects like boats and trailers.
- Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. Plywood can be used to board up windows and doors if your house doesn’t have hurricane shutters.
- Fuel up. Fill vehicles before the storm as a loss of power could put gas pumps out of commission.
While you are preparing at home, line crews are also using this time to stock their trucks with materials needed for repairs and are testing equipment to make sure it is ready for use. Given the nature of this storm, however, members should be prepared for the possibility of prolonged outages.
Real-time outage numbers from electric cooperatives across the state are available on our Statewide Outage Map.