With Florida in the path of Tropical Storm Eta, Duke Energy Florida is ready to respond to potential power outages and is encouraging customers to prepare for the storm. Tropical Storm Eta is forecast to bring gusty winds and rainfall, making flooding possible in some areas. Customers in Central Florida and the Tampa Bay area may experience weather-related outages beginning late tonight into tomorrow.
to track specific outages, get county-by-county outage numbers and review outage history information.
We’re prepared; we encourage customers to prepare as well
· Before a storm hits, customers can sign up to receive outage alerts
, and ensure contact information is current and communication preferences specified.
· Customers who experience a power outage can report it the following ways:
o Use the Duke Energy mobile app (download the Duke Energy App on your smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play).
o Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
o Call Duke Energy’s automated outage-reporting system:
Workers will adhere to CDC recommendations for COVID safe work practices
· During non-pandemic times, restoring power after a storm can be difficult for utility repair crews as travel and work conditions can be affected by high winds, fallen trees and flooding.
· Now, in addition to addressing those standard challenges, Duke Energy’s detailed storm response plan has incorporated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) recommendations for COVID safe work practices and physical distancing measures to help keep customers and communities safe.
· Duke Energy requests that customers remain outside of marked work zones and refrain from approaching repair crews.
Important safety tips
Duke Energy encourages customers to have a plan in place if they experience a power outage. Below are tips to help you and your family stay safe.
· Create (or update) an emergency supply kit to save valuable time later. The kit should include everything an individual or family would need for at least two weeks, especially medicines, water, non-perishable foods and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm strikes. Your emergency kit should also include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, bar or liquid soap, and face coverings aligned with CDC guidance.
· Keep a portable radio or TV, or NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather forecasts and important information from state and local officials.
· Charge cellphones, computers and other electronic devices in advance of storms to stay connected to important safety and response information. Consider purchasing portable chargers and make sure they are fully charged as well.
· Maintain a plan to move family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe, alternative location in case an extended power outage occurs or evacuation is required. When checking on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing
recommendations (staying at least 6 feet from others) and other CDC recommendations
to protect yourself and others.
· If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
· If you need to go to a disaster shelter, follow CDC recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a public disaster shelter
during the COVID-19 pandemic.
More tips on what to do before, during and after a storm can be found at duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/storm-safety
. A checklist serves as a helpful guide, but it's critical before, during and after a storm to follow the instructions and warnings of emergency management officials in your area.
Power restoration process
Duke Energy focuses on restoring power in a sequence that enables power restoration to public health and safety facilities and to the greatest number of customers as safely and quickly as possible. Click here
for information on how Duke Energy restores power.
Tips to protect refrigerated food during power outages
For customers who lose power and have full refrigerators and freezers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends the following:
· Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.
· A refrigerator can keep food cold for about four hours if it is unopened. If the power will be out for more than four hours, use coolers to keep refrigerated food cold.
· A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.