N.C. Electric Cooperatives Ready to Respond to Potential Winter Storm Impacts

Co-ops encourage safety before, during and after the storm

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are closely monitoring weather conditions and are prepared to respond quickly if power outages occur from the approaching winter storm.

Electric cooperatives serve approximately 2.5 million North Carolinians in 93 of the state’s 100 counties, primarily in rural areas. Because the cooperatives are based in the communities they serve, they can address storm impacts as quickly as possible, beginning restoration efforts as soon as conditions are safe.

Snow, ice, freezing rain and a wintry mix are possible across the state. These conditions, especially when paired with gusty winds, can lead to power outages caused primarily by falling trees and branches contacting power lines.

Cooperative members are urged to prepare now for the possibility of power outages, and real-time outage numbers from electric cooperatives across the state are available on this Statewide Outage Map.

“The cooperatives’ top priority is serving members and their communities, and if the storm causes power outages, we will do everything we can to minimize disruption to service while keeping members informed and safe,” said Louis Duke, spokesperson 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 now are:

  • Assemble an emergency kit. It should include a 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 blankets, first-aid supplies, flashlights and batteries.
  • Charge your cell phone. This will allow you to stay connected to emergency and safety updates even if the power goes out.
  • Connect with your local cooperative online. Find updates on outages and safety throughout the storm.

While residents prepare at home, cooperative line crews are using this time to pre-stage materials, stock their trucks and test power restoration equipment. If outages occur, restoration personnel will work quickly and safely to restore power to cooperative members.

If you see a downed power line, report it immediately to your local co-op or power utility. Under no circumstances should anyone approach, touch or drive over a fallen power line. For a video on emergency preparedness, click here.

Find your local co-op here.