We get our fair share of winter weather here in North Carolina and a light dusting of snow can quickly turn into a dangerous, icy storm. Will you be prepared when winter weather heads our way? Follow these crucial winter weather readiness tips to start preparing now.
Steps to Take Before Winter Storms Hit
Gather emergency supplies:
Put together an easy-access kit that your family can use in the event of an extended outage. Your kit should include:
- First aid supplies
- Nonperishable food
- One gallon of water per person, per day
- Prescription medicines
- Battery-powered radio
- Baby supplies like formula and diapers
- Extra pet food
- Sand and shovels
Charge cell phones:
Make sure your phone and any additional battery packs are fully charged.
Keep cold air out of your home:
Seal gaps around your doors and windows to help prevent excess cold air from entering your home.
Stock up on firewood:
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, make sure you have enough dry wood on hand to keep you warm.
Follow your co-op on social media:
During winter storms, we’ll post updates on our website, Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) accounts. Make sure you’re following @PiedmontEMC.
Update your contact information:
Make sure your phone number and email address are up-to-date by checking on SmartHub or by calling 800.222.3107. Current information is critical for us to stay in contact with you during outages.
Bookmark our online outage map:
Add outageviewer.pemc.org:88 to your bookmarks list now so you have easy access to it during inclement weather.
Steps to Take During a Winter Storm
Report an outage:
If you experience an outage, report it on our website or by texting “#out” to 800.222.3107. Then, you can text “#status” to get progress updates on your outage. You can also report an outage on SmartHub or by calling 800.222.3107.
If you see a downed powerline, remember that it can carry a deadly electric current. You should never touch or drive over a downed line.
Conserve energy usage when possible:
Periods of prolonged cold can put strains on the energy grid. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to rolling blackouts across our service area. To help prevent this, reduce energy usage during periods of high demand when possible, and make sure you’re prepared in the event of rolling blackouts.
The Importance of Energy Conservation During Winter
You can help prevent the need for rolling blackouts by adopting energy-conscious practices to help alleviate demand on the grid during periods of high demand on very cold days.
- Put these tips to use the next time the temperatures drop:
- Bundle up with warm blankets and clothes so you can stay warm without adjusting the thermostat
- Open shades and blinds during the day to allow sunlight to warm your home and close them at night to keep out the cold.
- Rotate your ceiling fan blades to rotate clockwise, which will move warm air down into the rest of the room
- Close the damper when not using your fireplace so heat doesn’t escape out of your chimney