How to prepare for the possibility of prolonged power outages

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(WRIC) — Power outages are a major concern as Hurricane Florence moves closer to the coast.

Dominion Energy and other power companies are already preparing.

We can all expect the power to go out at some point during this storm. Crews are already pre-positioning equipment, but they won’t be able to make repairs until after the storm passes through.

Companies say it won’t be a quick process to turn the power back on.

Rob Richardson, a Dominion Energy spokesperson, told 8News that all the proper precautions are being made ahead of the storm.

“We’re going to do everything we can so that our employees are situated, positioned in the right locations to respond quickly and safely to that storm. They’re going to be able to do that as soon as it’s safe to do so,” Richardson said. 

Dominion will ensure its trucks are loaded with the proper supplies, a critical step before assisting or making repairs. 

“We’ll make sure our trucks are stocked with fuses,” said Russell Bowman, a construction supervisor with Dominion. “If a wind event occurs we’ll be replacing more poles and cross arms, items like that. Normal stuff we’ll stock the truck with, bolts, hardware to work the poles. We’ll make sure all that stuff is on the truck.”

With the unpredictability of the storm’s path, Dominion employees will be working around the clock throughout Virginia to make sure, if there are outages, that the power stays on. 

“We’re gonna work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to get the lights back on. The power back on, because we know it’s an inconvenience when you don’t have power,” Bowman told 8News. 

WATCH: Hurricane preparations

Information to keep in mind when preparing:

-Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out.
-Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer; This will help make your food last a little longer.
-If you use a generator, you want to connect the equipment directly to the outlets on the generator.
-Do not connect the generator to your home’s electrical system.

Also, make sure to create an emergency plan with your loved ones. Prepare for how you will communicate if family members get separated. A hurricane survival kit is necessary. Experts say to have a gallon of water per person, per day and stock up on non-perishable foods, flashlights, batteries, and first aid kits.

Power outages are a major concern as Hurricane Florence moves closer to the coast. Dominion and other power companies are already preparing.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative has also begun making preparations ahead of the storm. REC employees will be in place ready to go in order to assist its customers. 

Prince George Electric Cooperative, hoping to make sure its customers are safe and with power, also shared some helpful tips with locals.  

How you can prepare:

  • Prepare an emergency kit that should include at least a three-day supply of water, food. 
  • Keep a list of emergency contacts.
  • Make sure your phone is fully charged and you have external, backup power sources
  • Make an evacuation plan, including pets and livestock, and keep communicating
  • Fuel up your vehicle and consider keeping supplies handy 
  • Call the Prince George Electric Cooperative outage reporting number when needed: (804) 834-2424

RELATED LINKS: 

Hurricane Ready: Home disaster kit

Interactive Tropical Radar: Track Hurricane Florence

LIVE BLOG: The latest Hurricane Florence track

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