Keeping Safe During Storms & Major Outages
Crews working to restore your power after a storm appreciate your patience and understanding that they are doing everything they can to get the job done as quickly and safely as possible.
Here are some important things you should remember if the power goes out. For detailed preparation plan from the American Red Cross, click here.
If power is lost or you plan to evacuate, turn off your heating and air conditioning systems, as well as your electric range and water heater. Unplug sensitive electronic appliances such as televisions, VCRs, microwave ovens and computers. Make sure family members know how to turn off electricity. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before turning on appliances and heating systems after power is restored.
If your home is damaged, look for electrical system damage, too. If you see sparks, broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main breaker box. Call an electrician. Do not step in water to get to the box. If power lines or poles are down in your yard or in the street, always treat them as if they were energized and dangerous and stay away.
The real danger of fallen power lines is often hidden. Post-storm debris can conceal power lines that have fallen. Fallen trees that contain energized power lines can energize any item they contact, such as metal fences, a pond, or water. Even the ground can be energized near fallen power lines.
If your electric service is out, check with neighbors to see if they have power. If they do, you may have a blown fuse or a tripped breaker. Never replace a fuse or reset a circuit breaker with wet hands or while standing on a wet or damp surface.
If you use candles, remember that open windows and gusty winds can knock them over or blow flammable materials into them.
If you cook food with Sterno or charcoal or use a gas-powered generator remember to do so outside in a well-ventilated area to avoid deadly carbon-monoxide fumes.
Finally, helping our line crews is appreciated, but working with power lines and electricity requires a high degree of training. To restore power with the highest degree of safety, restoration must be accomplished in a certain order and by specific procedures.
Medical Priority Members Need to Plan for Outages
Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative members on the organization’s “medical priority” list need to have a backup plan when power outages are likely to occur during major storms.
Members on the priority list have a special seal affixed to their meter bases, which identifies them as medical priority patients to all CCEC field personnel. Medical Priority means that a co-op member or someone in the member’s household has a medical condition that requires part-time or continuous use of specialized medical equipment that must have electricity to operate.
The cooperative maintains a medical priority list to inform members of planned outages and to make sure these members have a backup plan for major outages. However, during major outage situations such as those caused by hurricanes or other major storms, CCEC cannot guarantee that medical priority members’ electrical service will be one of the first to be restored.
For those reasons, any medical priority members should have either backup power (battery backup or generator) or a backup emergency plan to move to another location where electricity can be provided to meet their medical needs. Most hospitals or doctors’ offices can refer you to facilities to use in case of major power outages. You should contact these facilities to make all the necessary arrangements before a major outage occurs.
Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative provides power to close to 40,000 members in Carteret, Craven, Jones and Onslow counties and is a member of Touchstone Energy®, a nationwide family of electric cooperatives exhibiting the core values of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.