A power outage that occurred late Sunday evening and continued through Monday morning left thousands of Duke Energy customers in the Charlotte area without service.
The outage was first reported around 11 p.m. Sunday evening and affected nearly 5,560 customers in North Carolina and South Carolina counties as of 1:30 a.m.
These counties included Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Greenville, Spartanburg and York. The majority of those affected by this outage – around 4,690 customers – were in Mecklenburg.
The total number of people affected by outages in the Carolinas rose to 8,204 as of 9 a.m. Sunday morning.
As tornado season, hurricane season, and more turbulent weather settle in the Carolinas in the coming months, Charlotte residents should do what they can to prepare for power outages caused by the bad weather.
Here are some helpful tips and helpful products you can invest in to prepare for power outages in the Carolinas:
Invest in coolers
If you find yourself in the middle of a power outage, which doesn’t seem to be fixing any time soon, immediately grab all the ice you have in your freezer and pour it into a large cooler. You can extend the life of your perishables during an outage by storing them in a cooler rather than an old refrigerator.
Buy a generator
Generators are useful during outages that occur during extreme weather seasons. Portable heaters and coolers can keep your body temperature regulated during summer or winter outages when plugged into smaller portable generators.
Some high-efficiency generators can even power your entire home for hundreds of hours at a stretch before running out of power.
Make sure portable chargers are fully charged
Another beneficial and more easily accessible tool for outage preparedness is a portable charger. These small power banks provide power to your devices. It is essential to maintain a fully functional line of communication with friends, family and emergency personnel in case you need it.
If you already have a portable charger or wireless power bank but don’t use it often, be sure to periodically check its charging status to make sure it’s still at 100%.
Shop for battery-powered lanterns and flashlights
When night falls on a house without electricity, the view becomes the main concern. Buying battery-powered lanterns and heavy-duty flashlights can be a worthwhile investment to keep key areas of your home lit.
Soy candles, hot plates and fireplaces
In the event that an outage lasts long enough for your flashlights and lanterns to run out of power, the next best source of light is candles. Keep in mind that soy candles may be more expensive than regular wax candles, but they last longer in comparison.
Portable hot plates that you can plug into small generators and portable outdoor fire pits can come in handy during a power outage. You can use both of these tools to generate heat for cooking meals. Heat from an outdoor fireplace may also be sufficient to regulate body temperature during power outages.
If you already own an outdoor fireplace, be sure to always keep your dry firewood inventory well stocked.