Hurricane Season begins June 1 and last until November 30th. Pitt & Greene EMC believes that being prepared and knowing what to do is essential before, during, and after the storm. We have gathered the following information to help you be as prepared as possible in the event that we are affected by a hurricane this season.
A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected in a specific area in 24 hours or less. When this occurs stay turned to the radio or TV for official bulletins.
Hurricane force winds range in categories from 1 to 5.
Category 1: 74-95 mph winds
Category 2: 96-110 mph winds
Category 3: 111-130 mph winds
Category 4: 131-155 mph winds
Category 5: 155 mph and over
Preparing for the Hurricane:
- Have a battery-powered radio on hand.
- Buy flashlights and fresh batteries.
- Fill prescriptions; buy a first-aid kit, stock up on baby needs and any special need items.
- Stock Non-perishable food and bottled water, a 2 week supply is recommended.
- Make sure to have a manual can opener.
- Place documents such as your social security card, drivers’ license, birth certificate, and insurance information in a zip lock bag to keep dry if flooding occurs.
- Fill your vehicles with gas.
Turn your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting.
- Fill bathtub with clean water.
- Have an evacuation plan if for any reason you need to leave your home during or after the storm.
- Have a backup plan in place for the sick and elderly in case of an extended power outage.
- Remember your pets when planning a possible evacuation and contact your local humane society to see which shelters accept pets during disasters.
During the Hurricane
- Get inside your home or a building and stay away from the windows.
- Don’t leave candles unattended and keep them away from the furniture, draperies and other flammable materials. Keep children away from open flames.
- Don’t open freezers or refrigerators. Temperatures can be maintained up to 2 days without power.
- Turn off heating and cooling systems as well as electric ranges.
- Unplug sensitive electronic appliances such as TVs, VCRs, microwaves, ovens and computers. This will protect your appliances against power fluctuations that can occur when power is restored.
- After power is restored, be sure to wait five to ten minutes before turning on appliances, and heating and cooling systems.
After the Hurricane
- If power lines and poles are down in your yard or in the street, do not go near them. They could be energized and if so they are very dangerous. Contact Pitt & Greene EMC immediately at 252-753-3128 or 252-753-8778.
- Post-storm debris such as fallen trees can hide power lines that have fallen which could energize any item it comes in contact with, such as a metal fence, a pond or standing water. Even the ground can be energized near fallen power lines.
- If you’re without electricity and want to use a portable generator, make sure to use it in a well-ventilated area.
- Avoid using candles if possible. If you must, never leave a burning candle unattended.
- If power remains out following a storm and you must cook with Sterno or charcoal, make sure to do so outside to avoid the build-up of deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
Replenish your supplies of batteries, bottle water, non-perishable food items and firewood for future storms or hurricanes.
Pitt & Greene EMC will be making our preparations as well. We will have extra crews on standby to help us restore power in a timely manner. Customer Service will be in place to take your calls of power outages and relaying this information to our crews. The crews will begin power restoration as soon as possible without putting themselves in immanent danger. Depending on the extent of the damage caused by the storm will determine the length of time power may be out. We ask that you be prepared in the case of an extended power outage and please be patient. Likewise, we will be prepared to restore your power as soon as possible.
Thunder Storm Safety
- Summertime in North Carolina can bring fierce thunder and lightning storms. So whether you are in your home or outside, it is important to know the proper precautions that need to be taken.
- Monitor local weather conditions regularly on the radio.
- Look for an enclosed building when a thunder or lightning storm threatens.
- If you are in a car and it has a hard top, stay inside and keep the windows rolled up.
- Avoid small sheds or partial shelters such as pavilions.
- Stay at least a few feet away from open windows, sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, electric boxes and outlets and appliances.
- Avoid washing your hands, taking a shower or a bath. Electricity from lightning is always dangerous.
- Avoid using regular telephones or electrical appliances except in an emergency. Cell or cordless phones, not connected to the building’s wiring, are safe to use.
- Stay away from tall things such as trees, fences, telephone poles or power lines. They attract lightning.
- If you are swimming, fishing or boating and there are clouds, dark skies and distant rumbles of thunder or flashes of lightning, get to land immediately and seek shelter.
- If you are in a boat and cannot get to shore, crouch down in the middle of the boat or go below deck if possible.
- Avoid downed power lines. Assume they are still energized and call Pitt & Greene EMC at 753-3128 immediately.
Do you or a loved one use any type of medical equipment that requires electricity? If so please read the following:
If you or a loved one relies on any type of medical equipment that is supplied by electricity, please have a backup plan in place in the event power is knocked out due to severe weather. Pitt & Greene EMC will restore power as soon as possible, but depending on the type of damage caused and where the damage may be, we cannot guarantee how long you may be affected by an outage.