“Massive storm system” is the headline Charlotte’s WCNC meteorologist used to describe expected rough weather for the next few days. His Tweet is to the left.

Anticipating that threat, how do people prepare for a possible power outage? ECC checked resources around the country for some ideas.

Duke Energy Tweeted, “Check your emergency kit and prepare for potential outages.”

Among the items on the Duke Energy site:

  • Homeowners who depend on well water should draw an emergency supply.
  • Have a portable radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio on hand to monitor important information.
  • Ensure all your electronic/mobile devices are fully charged.
  • Gather important documentation and place in waterproof container.
  • Consider signing up for our Medical Alert program if someone in your household is seriously ill or on a life support system.

National Weather Service forecast map from Saturday, April 11, 2020

Duke Energy’s storm center has before, during and after tips for storm prep. People not on the Duke Energy system may want to check their local utility website for tips and alerts.

Something else to consider: With the pandemic many people may have stocked up on refrigerated or frozen foods as they stay at home. Consider how to manage that if power goes out. The US Food and Drug Administration has some food safety tips.

We found this article about cold food and a possible power outage. One suggestion is to freeze water now in case that ice is helpful in the freezer during an outage. It also says, “One of the most important things you can do during a power outage is to keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. According to the USDA, in a power outage, a refrigerator will stay cold for up to four hours, and a freezer will keep its temperature for 24 hours if it is half-full and 48 hours if it is full.”

Another source for good general information about storm preparedness is an August 2019 article in the NC Electric Cooperatives magazine called Carolina Country.  This article gathered information from several weather experts. (Left image is a web page snip from Carolina Country.)

National Weather Service forecast for Sat-Sun from April 11

There are outage maps available to the public so you can keep up with the latest power information:

Among the important tips: Do not touch a downed power line. Always assume that line is hot.