Prepare Now for Significant Power Outages from Hurricane Florence

September 11, 2018 (Asheboro, N.C.)—Randolph Electric Membership Corporation is preparing for significant impacts on the electrical system as Hurricane Florence tracks toward central North Carolina. The cooperative urges members to take this storm seriously and make plans now to prepare for the possibility of extended power outages.

Hurricane Florence is forecasted to bring torrential rain and tropical storm force winds to our area. Heavy ground saturation and high winds have the potential to take down trees and cause extensive damage to power lines and poles. Depending on the track the storm takes and the damage caused, outages could be prolonged for up to 7-10 days over Randolph EMC’s entire five-county service territory.

Randolph EMC has activated its storm response plan, taking time to stock trucks with materials needed for repairs, testing equipment to make sure it is ready for use and coordinating with sister cooperatives and contract line crews to assist with power restoration efforts. 

“Based on our experience with past storms of this magnitude, I cannot overstate the importance of preparing in advance for outages that could last for more than a week,” said Dale Lambert, CEO of Randolph EMC. “With a substantial storm like this, line crews’ encounter flooding, high winds, impassable roads and other challenges as they respond to outages, which can hinder their efforts in restoring power,” he added. “Safety has to be our number one priority, so we ask for our members’ patience ahead of the storm. We have secured additional crews and I assure you that our entire team will work as quickly and safely as possible to restore each service affected.”

Members who experience a power outage should report it by calling 1-877-736-2633 (1-877-REMC-OFF). Members who have enrolled in REMC’s SPOTT Alerts Outage Texting program may also text OUT to this number report an outage at their location. These members should note that outage status updates will be unavailable during storm outage restoration efforts. 

Throughout the duration of the storm, Randolph EMC offers several options for keeping members informed:

  • Follow Randolph EMC on Facebook and Twitter
  • View the online outage map at https://Outages.RandolphEMC.com
  • Find the latest press releases, alerts and preparedness tips on our website at RandolphEMC.com
  • Tune in to local TV and radio stations for the latest updates

Before the storm reaches central North Carolina, take the time to prepare:

  • Make a plan. Outline a communications and evacuation plan for your family. If you have any pets or livestock, include them in your plan.
  • Assemble an emergency kit. It should include at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food, water and medication, as well as any other items you might need in case of a power outage, such as a flashlight, radio and batteries. We recommend members be prepared for the possibility of power outages lasting up to 7-10 days, based on the extent of damage.
  • Make sure Randolph EMC has your current contact information listed in your account for the quickest response.
  • Charge cell phones and other mobile devices. This will allow you to stay connected to emergency and safety updates even if the power goes out.
  • Secure outdoor items. Safely store lawn furniture, decorations, toys, garbage cans and other items that can be brought indoors. Tie down larger objects like boats and trailers.
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. Plywood can be used to board up windows and doors if your house doesn’t have hurricane shutters.
  • Fuel up. Fill vehicles before the storm as a loss of power could put gas pumps out of commission.
  • Ensure that generators are properly connected. Make sure portable generators are used in well-ventilated areas. Do not connect a generator to your home’s electrical panel or fuse boxes. It may cause electricity to feed back into the power lines, which can endanger linemen and damage electric service facilities.
  • Visit ready.gov for important safety information and additional preparedness tips.

Following the storm, it’s important to exercise extreme caution. Chances are that when there is a storm of this magnitude, there will be downed or low-hanging 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. Stay well away from the downed lines and report to REMC. Additionally, if you see electric utility crews or emergency responders working on the side of the road, slow down and leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the workers.