Hurricane season officially begins Wednesday, June 1, and this year national hurricane center forecasters expect an above-normal Atlantic season.
When a powerful storm moves through the Wiregrass, your first few hours will most likely be spent in the dark.
Here are some tips you need to know to stay safe and informed.
Wiregrass Electric’s Manager of Operations, Jerry Sorrells says, “It's very dangerous, the roads will be under water trees across the roads and trees on power lines.”
Sorrells paints a picture of the conditions many linemen with power companies experience during a hurricane. He says a few days before a storm hits, linemen go into storm preparation mode.
“Naturally we try to get supplies in. We prepare for the worst and hope for the best. “
If a storm does hit, power outages likely will be among the biggest concerns. When this happens, experts say you should first call your provider, and most likely you will get an automated response.
Brad Kimbro, Wiregrass Electric director of member Services, says, “The outage response system allows us to be more efficient, and process many more calls at one time. If we're more efficient, we're able to respond quicker and dispatch our crews to the areas that are affected and restore power a lot faster than we were before.”
Power officials say be patient because they have as many people working as possible to get your power back on.
“That's when we call on our neighboring co-ops from across the United States. The severity of the storm determines that. We can get as many people here to restore power as we need,” says Kimbro.
And you may wonder why your neighbors are able to flip their lights on before you.
Experts say in their restoration process, they work from the substation out and for a reason.
“Because really it does no good to work the circuits back from there. What we try to do as all utilities do, we want to get as many people back on as quickly as possible. So you start with the substation and you work out from there,” says Kimbro.
Not all outages are created equal.
“Those high winds bring limbs down and trees in some cases. Trees fall on our lines and they snap the poles. When that happens it's a longer outage situation because we have to go back with our crews and rebuild the system,” says Kimbro.
One last thing, if a power line is on the ground near your home.
“Always treat a power line like it's live, and treat it with respect. In other words, don't go up and touch it,” says Sorrells