North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are encouraging their members to prepare now for this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which officially begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. North Carolina has already experienced impacts of Subtropical Storm Alberto, which arrived prior to the start of the 2018 season.
“The arrival of Alberto before the official beginning of hurricane season demonstrates the need to always be prepared for storms and inclement weather,” said Nelle Hotchkiss, senior vice president, association services for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “Furthermore, the western part of our state was more greatly affected by the storm, indicating that you should be proactive about protecting your loved ones and property no matter where you live.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a near- or above-normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. They predict a 70-percent chance of 10 to 16 named storms of which five to nine could become hurricanes, including one to four major hurricanes. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
The state’s co-ops are prepared to respond in the event that severe weather impacts service to their members. Co-op members are also encouraged to prepare now by taking simple steps, including:
- Outline a communications and evacuation plan for your family before a hurricane or storm warning is issued to minimize confusion and fear. If you have pets or any livestock, include them in your plan.
- Create an emergency kit that includes:
- Important documents sealed in a watertight plastic bag
- Three days’ worth of non-perishable food, water and medication
- First-aid kit
- Battery-powered radio
- Extra batteries
- Personal hygiene items
- Extra clothes and blankets
- Food and other supplies for pets
- Sign up for local weather alerts and warnings.
- Connect with your electric cooperative online to stay informed about weather, outages and other information. Several cooperatives also have live outage maps on their websites that share local outage updates in real time.
- You can also get information about all 26 electric co-ops statewide by following North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives on Facebook and Twitter, or by viewing this live outage map that displays the locations and total numbers of co-op members without power in the state.
In the event of a power interruption, members should report outages to their local cooperative. Outage reporting numbers for all 26 electric cooperatives in the state can be found here. Members are also reminded to never go near downed power lines.
Contact your local electric cooperative or visit ncelectriccooperatives.com/outages-and-safety/ for additional safety information and tips.