When the storm threatens
- Check supplies and make sure you have the following items: portable radio with fresh batteries, flashlight, first aid kit, canned or packaged food that can be prepared without cooking or refrigeration, several days' supply of drinking water (one quart per person, per day), a full tank of gas in your car and cash.
- Unplug major nonvital appliances. Advanced surge protection systems will protect your home from most power surges, but will not prevent damage from a direct lightning strike.
- Pay attention to local television and radio broadcasts for hurricane position, intensity and expected landfall.
- Prepare for high winds by boarding up or taping windows and other glass, anchoring objects outside and bracing garage door.
- Move boats and trailers close to the house and check mooring lines of boats in the water.
- Put important papers in watertight containers (take them if you evacuate) and move valuables to upper stories of your home.
- Fill your bathtub with water for sanitary purposes. Because water conducts electricity, it is not safe to run water during a storm.
- If you know someone who relies on electric-powered life-support equipment, be prepared to move that person to a facility outside of the storm's projected path to avoid the risk of an extended power outage.
When the storm hits
- Stay indoors in an inside room away from doors and windows, electrical outlets and water pipes. Don't go out in the brief calm during the eye of the storm.
- Keep television and radio tuned for information from official sources. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice.
- If you evacuate, shut off gas, water and electricity at the breaker box. Take blankets, first aid supplies and other essential items to the nearest shelter.
After the storm has passed
- Never go near downed power lines. Always assume they are energized and extremely dangerous. If someone suffers an electric shock, call 911 or your local rescue squad immediately. Even minor shocks may cause serious health problems later.
- Check for electrical damage inside your home, such as frayed wires, sparks or the smell of burning insulation. If you find damage, don't turn your power on until an electrician inspects your system and makes necessary repairs.
- Walk or drive cautiously. Watch out for debris-filled streets and weakened bridges. Snakes and insects can be a problem.
- Use your emergency water supply or boil water before drinking it until local officials deem the water supply safe. Report broken sewer or water mains.
- Make temporary repairs to protect property from further damage or looting. Beware of unscrupulous contractors.
If the power goes out
- Call Duke Energy at 1.800.228.8485.
Duke Energy customers may call our automated system to report a power outage. The advantage of using the automated line is that there is no wait time for callers and power outages are logged into the system more quickly. Once restoration time estimates are developed, those estimates will also be available to you through the automated system.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Food usually stays frozen about 48 hours. A refrigerator can keep food cold for about four hours. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out.
- Do not connect a generator directly to your home's electrical system. It is dangerous to you, your neighbors and utility workers. Follow manufacturer's directions regarding connecting appliances directly to your generator.
- In any power outage, utility crews restore service as quickly as possible, starting with the largest lines serving the most people.