I love summer and the warm temperatures that allow me to spend time outside with my family. But I also know that with summer comes hurricane season, which officially begins June 1. While we live a couple of hours away from our beautiful coast, high winds and heavy rain from the outer bands of a hurricane can still bring down trees and power lines in our communities.
I will forever remember 33 years ago this September when Hurricane Hugo made a turn in Charleston and came through our service territory. I was still in college, but some of our veteran linemen remember that service was disrupted for over two months for some members.
Researchers predict this year’s Atlantic hurricane season could bring about nine hurricanes. While we don’t know if this will come true, we can plan so that we have the resources to weather those storms. Below, I have listed how you can prepare now:
- Stock your pantry with nonperishable food—canned goods, energy bars, peanut butter, water, and other essentials.
- Confirm that you have adequate sanitation and hygiene supplies such as disinfecting wipes, soap, and toilet paper.
- Ensure your first aid kit has pain relievers, bandages, and other medical essentials, and make sure your prescriptions are current.
- Gather basic household items you will need, including flashlights, batteries, a manual can opener, and a battery-powered radio or TV.
- Organize emergency supplies so they are together in an easily accessible location.
Safeguard your home
If a severe storm such as a hurricane is expected, you may need to take steps to safeguard your home. Shutter windows and secure exterior doors. Fully charge cell phones, laptops, and devices. If you plan to use a small generator, make sure it’s rated to handle the amount of power you will need, and always review the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation.
During a prolonged outage
In the event of an outage, turn off appliances, TVs, computers, and other sensitive electronics. This will help prevent damage from a power surge and overloading the circuits during power restoration. If using a small household generator, consider using LED holiday lights to illuminate a living area. Solar lights also work if they receive sunlight during the day for charging.
During thunderstorms, use battery-powered TVs and radios. Keep away from windows and listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates. You can also check Lynches River’s Facebook page or website for restoration updates.
After the storm, avoid downed power lines and walking through flooded areas where power lines could be submerged. Allow ample room for our utility crews to safely perform their jobs, including on your property.
Power in planning
Planning for severe storms or other emergencies can reduce stress and anxiety caused by a weather event and lessen the impact of the storm’s effects. Act today because there is power in planning.