Hurricane preparedness is a commitment Duke Energy takes very seriously through long-term strategic planning.

The company has spent more than $2.4 billion since 2004 maintaining and strengthening its Florida power delivery system, including inspecting and replacing poles and trimming vegetation and trees. In 2016, more than 103,000 wood distribution poles were inspected, 82,000 were treated to prevent decay and 4,400 were replaced. Duke Energy Florida currently has more than 800,000 wood distribution poles and has replaced nearly 42,000 since 2006, which were identified through our Wood Pole Inspection Program.

The company simulates hurricane drills and participates in Florida's state hurricane exercise to sharpen response and restoration times.

In the last two years, Duke Energy has also hosted more than 36 storm preparation sessions and downed power-line demonstrations, reaching approximately 2,500 emergency first-responders and customers across Duke Energy’s Florida service territory. Click HERE for a video of the demonstration and HERE to read more about safety around downed power lines.

Duke Energy and its staff of meteorologists are constantly monitoring weather conditions, preparing to do whatever is necessary to maintain its high level of reliability and to react quickly when the power goes out.
“An important part of being safe is being prepared,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy state president – Florida. We prepare for storms every day of the year and we want our customers to get ready now so they can react quickly during a storm.”

The following tips can help you and your family stay safe if severe weather strikes and the power goes out:

• 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 and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm strikes.

• Maintain a supply of water and non-perishable food.

• Ensure first-aid supplies and medicines are readily available. If electricity is needed to operate medical equipment, contact Duke Energy’s Customer Care Center at 800-700-8744, in advance of a storm to learn what to do in the event of a power outage or emergency.

• Review insurance policies, and include extra copies of the policies and other important documents in the emergency supply kit (ideally in a waterproof container).

• Keep flashlights on hand, ensure they’re operational, and maintain a supply of extra batteries.
• Keep a portable radio or TV, or NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather forecasts and official information.

• Maintain a plan to move family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe, alternate location in case an extended power outage occurs or evacuation is required. Pet owners can make arrangements to stay at evacuation shelters that accept pets, friends’ or family members’ homes, or pet-friendly hotels.

• Draw an emergency water supply in advance if one’s home or apartment depends on well water, in case well-water pumps become inoperable due to a power outage.

• Use backup electric generators safely, and follow manufacturers’ directions.

• Unplug major non-essential appliances. Advanced surge protection systems will protect homes from most power surges, but will not prevent damage from direct lightning strikes.

For a “Hurricane Kit Checklist," important safety tips and more information on what to do before, during and after a storm, visit https://www.duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/storm-safety.

For more tips on general emergency preparedness, visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management at http://www.floridadisaster.org.

Outage reporting and status updates

At any time, customers can report power outages by:
• Visiting www.duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device
• Texting OUT to 57801 (Standard text and data charges may apply)
• Calling the automated outage-reporting system at 800.228.8485
For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy).

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida owns and operates a diverse generation mix, including renewables, providing about 8,800 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.

With its Florida regional headquarters located in St. Petersburg, Fla., Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company’s Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.

The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.

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