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Duke Energy getting Davie ready for hurricane season; you should too

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – You can’t stop a hurricane’s rain and winds, but you can be ready for it.

That’s why Duke Energy is improving the electric grid in Davie County.

“We’ve been making upgrades across our system to build a stronger and smarter power grid to serve our customers,” said Scott Batson, senior vice president and Duke Energy’s chief distribution officer. “Our crews are ready to respond when the next hurricane strikes, and the improvements we have made, and will continue to make, will provide real benefits to customers and communities and help us restore power faster when they count on us most.”

Duke Energy is prepared to respond to power outages as quickly and safely as possible, and recent reliability improvements will improve the grid to better serve customers.

The company is installing self-healing technology that detects power outages and reroutes service when outages occur to restore power faster. This smart technology helps reduce the number of customers impacted by an outage and the duration of an outage, by restoring power often in less than a minute. Installation of this technology included new and upgraded power lines in some areas and automated controls to reroute power to other energy pathways when outages occur.

In 2020, self-healing technology helped to avoid around 300,000 extended customer outages in North Carolina and South Carolina, saving customers more than 1 million hours of lost outage time. Over the next few years, Duke Energy expects to install enough self-healing technology to serve most customers, including projects in 2021 that will bring additional benefits to nearly 9,000 customers in the Davie County area.

Crews also upgraded poles and power lines in the area to strengthen the system and make the power grid more resistant to outages from severe weather.

And, trees were also trimmed in rights-of-way that posed a service reliability threat in the county and more tree trimming and removal will occur this year to further improve reliability.

Safety Reminders

As hurricane season approaches, customers should have a plan before storms strike in case they experience an extended power outage. Below are some tips to help stay safe.

Before the storm hits:

• Create (or update) an emergency supply kit to save time later. The kit should include everything an individual or family would need for at least two weeks, especially medicines, water, non-perishable foods and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm hits.

• Keep a portable radio or TV, or NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather forecasts and important information from state and local officials.

• Charge cellphones, computers and other electronic devices in advance of storms to stay connected to safety and response information. Consider purchasing portable chargers and make sure they are fully charged.

• Maintain a plan to move family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe, alternative location in case an extended power outage occurs or evacuation is required.

• Review insurance policies, and include extra copies of the policies and other important documents in your emergency supply kit (ideally in a waterproof container).

• Pet owners should make arrangements to stay at evacuation shelters that accept pets; friends’ or family members’ homes; or pet-friendly hotels.

After the storm hits:

• Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized as well as trees, limbs or anything in contact with lines.

• 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 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.

More tips on what to do before, during and after a storm can be found at www.duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/storm-safety. A checklist serves as a helpful guide, but it’s critical before, during and after a storm to follow the instructions and warnings of emergency management officials in your area.

Outage reporting

Before the storm hits, customers should contact Duke to make sure their contact information is up to date and their communication preferences are noted, so they receive proactive outreach on the status on a power outage. Customers who experience an outage during a storm can report it the following ways:  isit duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device; use the Duke Energy mobile app – Download the Duke Energy App from a smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play; Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply); or call the automated outage-reporting system at 800-769-3766.