PEMC prepares for upcoming weather event and potential outages

This graphic show the steps we take to restore power in the event of an outage.
A complex weather pattern will prevail across the North Carolina through the weekend.
Moderate to heavy rain began falling across much of the central and eastern part of our state on Friday morning.  This is the beginning of a 3-day stretch that will include multiple inches of rain that could lead to serious flooding.
PEMC’s staff is now actively preparing for this multi-day weather event so that we are positioned to respond quickly to any storm-related outages.  We will update you as conditions develop, but it is important that we all begin to make preparations.
Piedmont Electric members are asked to call us directly at 800.449.2667 to report an outage or call 800.222.3107.

Storm Preparations you should make:

  • Keep your cell phone and other mobile devices charged
  • Locate the flashlights in your house and make sure they have fresh batteries
  • Make sure you have refills of any medications you may need in case you can’t leave your house for several days
  • If you have a well that uses an electric pump, fill your bathtub with water so you can use that water to flush your toilets in the event of a power outage

Electrical Safety Precautions During Weather Disasters

Electrical Safety Precautions During Disasters

At the peak of a storm’s fury, it may be hard to think of the electrical safety precautions you should take, but it is necessary to do in order to ensure you and your family’s safety and well being. By following these electrical safety precautions during disasters, you can help prevent death, injuries, and property damage.

Flooded Areas

When stepping into a flooded area, be aware that submerged outlets or electrical cords may energize the water, posing a lethal trap.

Wet Electrical Equipment

Do not use electrical appliances that have been wet. Water can damage the motors in electrical appliances such as furnaces, freezers, refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers. For electrical appliances that have been submerged underwater, have them reconditioned by a qualified service repairman.

Portable Generators

Make sure to take care with portable electric generators. Although generators can be a good source of power, if they are improperly installed or operated they can become deadly. In addition, make sure not to connect generators directly to household wiring. The power from generators can backfeed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including line technicians making repairs. A qualified, licensed electrician should install your generator to ensure that it meets local electrical codes. Other tips for generators include:

  • Make sure the generator is properly grounded.
  • Make sure to keep the generator dry.
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator.
  • Make sure extension cords used with the generator are free of cuts, worn insulation, and have three-pronged plugs.
  • Make sure not to overload the generator.
  • Do not operate the generator in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. Generators can produce high levels of deadly carbon monoxide very quickly.
  • Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries. Portable GFCIs require no tools to install and are available at prices ranging from $12 to $30.

Downed Power Lines

Chances are that when there is a storm, there will be downed power lines. Even though power lines may be down, they can still carry an electric current strong enough to cause a serious injury or death. Here are some tips that can keep you safe around downed power lines.

  • If you see a downed power line, move away from the line and anything that may be touching it.
  • If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with a downed power line – do not touch the person. Call 911 instead.
  • Do not attempt to move a downed power line or anything in contact with the power line by using another object such as a broom or stick. Even non-conductive materials like wood or cloth, if slightly wet, can conduct electricity and then electrocute you.
  • Be careful not to put your feet near water where a downed power line is located.
  • If you are in your car and it is in contact with the downed power line, stay in your car. Tell others to stay away from your vehicle.
  • Do not drive over downed power lines.
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