5 On Your Side

Plan ahead for winter power outages

Posted February 11, 2014

With the wintry weather moving in, here are some tips to do now before the possibility of a power outage.

• Fill up your gas tank. When the power's out, the pumps don't work.
• Hit the ATM for cash. Credit and debit cards won't be of use during a power outage.
• Charge cellphones and make adjustments to conserve the battery. For example, clear running apps,
• lower screen brightness and turn off Wifi until needed.
• Gather extra batteries for flashlights and skip open candle flames to avoid a potential fire.
• Keep the refrigerator closed. Foods will keep safely for about four hours in a closed fridge and about 48 hours in the freezer.
• To report a power outage, call 1- 800-POWER-ON or 1-800-419-6356 for Duke Energy Progress. If available, you'll get information on when the power is expected to be restored to your location.


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  • John Sawtooth Feb 14, 2014

    Much of what's needed for a "storm kit' fits easily into the large plastic storage buckets. We all need alternate ways to cook (Sterno is difficult in very cold weather), easy to prepare foods and plenty of fresh water. Get 5 gallon plastic jugs or collapsible tanks to store water in.

  • busyb97 Feb 12, 2014

    View quoted thread

    We're pretty well prepared, except alternate heat source. I wish I had followed my gut instinct last summer/fall and gotten a kerosene heater then. Many winters my family was saved growing up because of kerosene heater and wood stove. Our house now has electric and propane heat sources....no power- no heat. The workshop has a wood stove, so if it were REALLY bad, we could camp in there. :) Thankfully, not forecasted to be as cold. We would survive.

  • TarHeelBrit Feb 12, 2014

    Ha ha so true, well said. I've prepared for this event so we probably won't get anything. That's what usually happens with me.

  • rastone Feb 11, 2014

    All good ideas, Monica. Another one for those of us that have wells and septic systems: Fill your bathtubs with water for flushing. Fill clean container with water for making coffee and cooking. (if the power goes off, your well pump will not work.!) We already did everything.. including all you mentioned. If the power goes out we will use a kerosene heater to keep warm..(will cut it off when we go to bed) also we can use the heater to cook on and also make coffee with a camp style percolator. We have battery operated lights & oil lamps for light. Also a radio that runs on batteries. We charged up our computer and IPads too. I believe in Murphy's Law. "If we are totally prepared nothing will happen. Id we aren't prepared, the power will be off for days!