Local News

Progress Energy Carolinas Ready For Isabel

Posted September 15, 2003

— Progress Energy Carolinas

is preparing to mobilize more than 850 line and tree personnel to respond if Hurricane Isabel impacts its service territory.

Crews will be traveling to staging sites from the Progress Energy Florida service area, from parts of the company's western North Carolina and South Carolina territories, as well as from outside the Progress Energy system.

"In addition to Progress Energy personnel already stationed in the area, we have called on 850 additional personnel to assist if Isabel hits," said Jackie Joyner, system storm coordinator for Progress Energy Carolinas. "Past hurricane experiences and storm drills have helped shape our comprehensive storm plan, and we are ready to respond. Right now, we are making logistical arrangements, stocking supplies and carefully monitoring Isabel's track."

The quickest way to report an outage during a storm is to call Progress Energy's automated outage-reporting system at

1-800-419-6356.

After severe weather, Progress Energy takes specific steps to restore power. Progress Energy crews first assess damage and determine what crews, equipment and supplies will be needed to make repairs.

Progress Energy offers the following safety tips for when the storm threatens:

  • Check supplies and make sure you have the following items: portable radio with fresh batteries, flashlight, candles or lamps, matches, first-aid kit, canned or packaged food that can be prepared without cooking or refrigeration, several days' supply of drinking water (one gallon per person, per day), a full tank of gas in your car and cash.
  • Unplug major non-vital appliances. Advanced surge-protection systems will protect your home from most power surges but will not prevent damage from a direct lighting strike.
  • Pay attention to local television and radio broadcasts for storm 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.

    Here are some tips for when the storm hits:

  • Stay indoors in an inside room away from doors and windows, electrical outlets and water pipes. Do not 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.

    Here are tips for 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, do not 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 Progress Energy Carolinas at

    (800) 419-6356

    or your local utility to report any power outages. However, during major weather events, including hurricanes and severe thunderstorms, you may encounter extended wait times before your call is answered.

    You can expedite the process by using the automated outage reporting system that is capable of handling more than 120,000 calls per hour. Entering your phone number or Progress Energy account number in the system ensures that we know about your outage and will capture that information in our restoration plans. 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.

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