With tornadoes having hit the Midwest and storms threatening the Southeast, it’s clearly time to ensure you and your family have a plan ready to activate in the event of an emergency.
Duke Energy and its staff of meteorologists are constantly monitoring weather conditions, preparing to do whatever is necessary to maintain its high level of reliability and to react quickly when the power goes out.
The following tips can help you and your family prepare and stay safe if severe weather strikes and the power goes out.
Keep these items handy
Check your supplies and be sure to have the following items in an easy-to-find location:
Flashlights with extra batteries
Portable radio with fresh batteries
Canned or packaged food that can be prepared without cooking or refrigeration
Several days’ supply of drinking water.
Portable (and fully charged) cell phone charger
If someone in your home has special needs or relies on electric-powered medical equipment, determine now the actions you’d take in the event of an extended power outage (i.e., relocate your family member or have a backup generator available). And encourage other family members, friends and neighbors to do the same.
Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged and phone numbers handy in case you need to check on family or friends in other locations or call emergency response agencies.
If severe weather moves through the area, be watchful for downed or sagging power lines. Consider all lines energized as well as trees, limbs or anything in contact with lines. Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy.
If a power line falls across a car that you’re in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
(Learn More. As result of storm, vehicle accident or other situation where a power line could fall across a car that you’re in, stay in the car and dial 911. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground. Slowly shuffle your feet at least 35 feet away. Never approach a vehicle or area with downed lines on it because it could be energized. Stay at least 35 feet away and wait for emergency responders. Courtesy of Duke Energy and YouTube)
Report an Outage
There are three ways for customers to report outages and get the most up-to-date restoration information:
Online – Customers can report an outage online at www.duke-energy.com/outages. They can also access the outage map online from a computer or mobile device. Once on the map, customers can zoom in to their specific location and hover over the outage indicator nearest their home. A message box will appear showing total customers affected, status and an estimated time of restoration, if available: http://outagemap.duke-energy.com
Text message – Customers can text OUT to 57801 to report an outage from their mobile phone. Be sure to use the mobile phone associated with your account. To stay informed of future power outages, sign up to receive power outage alerts from Duke Energy by texting REG to 57801 or choose from text, email or phone alerts by enrolling at duke-energy.com/OutageAlerts.
Phone – Customers can report outages and get up-to-date restoration times by calling the company’s automated outage-reporting system for their specific service area:
Duke Energy Carolinas – 800-769-3766
Duke Energy Progress – 800-419-6356
Florida – 800-228-8485
Ohio and Kentucky – 800-543-5599
Indiana – 800-343-3525
Visit Duke Energy’s storm preparedness website – www.duke-energy.com/storms – for links to outage reporting tools, safety information and tips. There is also an interactive outage map where customers can find up-to-date information on power outages, including the total number of outages systemwide and estimated times of restoration.
Follow these social media accounts to get up-to-date information about outages and restoration efforts:
If you experience a power outage after severe weather, it’s likely many other customers are out too. When there are widespread power outages, Duke Energy follows a restoration process that focuses on repairs that will return power to the greatest number of customers as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible. Emphasis is placed on vital public health and safety facilities such as hospitals, law enforcement, fire departments and water treatment facilities. This infographic explains the process: www.duke-energy.com/pdfs/How-Duke-Energy-Restores-Power.pdf
Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.4 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 24 million people.