From the Outer Banks to the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina is a special state to live and visit. With that beauty, however, comes the potential for damaging summer storms. Whether a hurricane, thunderstorm, wind or rain event, the impact of severe weather can be reduced through preparation.
In recognition of the June start to hurricane season, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives encourage members to take steps now to be ready for severe weather this summer just as cooperative personnel and line crews are preparing for storm response efforts in the communities they serve.
North Carolina Co-ops are Storm Ready
Throughout the year, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives adhere to strict safety standards and conduct continuing education to protect the safety of line crews, members and communities.
Cooperatives across the state maintain necessary right-of-way clearing programs to reduce the chance of trees and other vegetation interfering with the electric system on a day-to-day basis, or as the risk for falling trees and branches increases. They monitor and evaluate system and equipment conditions and are adding innovative technologies, like microgrids and battery storage to enhance grid resilience and reliability.
In the event a hurricane or damaging storm causes power outages, co-ops are uniquely positioned and ready to address any impacts, as they are local to and embedded in the communities they serve.
Additionally, in severe events, local cooperatives can rely on a strong cooperative network across the state and region, as co-ops from unaffected or less-impacted areas stand ready to assist when major outages occur.
Tips: Before and After the Storm
Although the greatest chance for hurricanes occurs during the climatological peak of the season in August, it is important to prepare now as severe weather could strike any time.
Follow these simple tips:
- Have a communication and evacuation plan ready for your family. Remember to consider a plan for pets and livestock.
- Create an emergency kit including cash, flashlights, important documents, first- aid supplies and prescriptions, non-perishable food, water, clothing and batteries.
- Before a storm, charge cell phones and fuel vehicles, whether electric or gas.
- Stay tuned to local news and be prepared to heed the advice of local officials.
After a storm, cooperative members are encouraged to:
- Never connect a generator directly into the wiring of your home, and never use a portable generator inside.
- Do not use electrical equipment that has been underwater.
- Stay away from downed power lines, and be mindful that debris can hide fallen power lines.
- Follow your electric cooperative’s outage reporting guidelines and continue to monitor online outage maps and news reports.
- Have qualified electricians inspect any electrical equipment that may have water damage.
For additional storm tips including food safety, scam awareness and more, visit the Cooperative Storm Center.
The Atlantic Hurricane season lasts from June to November, reaching peak storm season in August. This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Climate Prediction Center at the National Weather Service, have predicted a normal hurricane season. This prediction means NOAA is expecting 12 to 17 named storms with anywhere between one and four major hurricanes. Tornadoes, flooding and severe thunderstorms are also common during these summer months.