LOCAL POWER COMPANIES: In case of a power outage due to the weather, please use one of these numbers to report to your applicable power company: Duke Energy Progress 1-800-769-3766 PWC 1-877-687-7921 South River Electric 1-800-338-5530 To report a water or sewer emergency requiring immediate assistance in Spring Lake, please call (910) 497-3390.
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Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they last a long time. If a power outage is two hours or less, you need not be concerned about losing your perishable foods. For prolonged power outages, though, there are steps you can take to minimize food loss and to keep all members of your household as comfortable as possible. Energy Conservation Recommendations: Turn off lights and computers when not in use. Wash clothes in cold water if possible; wash only full loads and clean the dryer’s lint trap after each use. When using a dishwasher, wash full loads and use the light cycle. If possible, use the rinse only cycle and turn off the high temperature rinse option. When the regular wash cycle is done, just open the dishwasher door to allow the dishes to air dry. Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights. How Do You Prepare for a Power Outage? To help preserve your food, keep the following supplies in your home: One or more coolers – inexpensive Styrofoam coolers work well. Ice – surrounding your food with ice in a cooler or in the refrigerator will keep food colder for a longer period of time during a prolonged power outage. A digital quick-response thermometer – with these thermometers you can quickly check the internal temperatures of food to ensure they are cold enough to use safely. Put together an emergency preparedness kit with these supplies in case of a prolonged or widespread power outage: Water – one gallon per person, per day (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home) Food – non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home) Flashlight (Note: Do not use candles during a power outage due to the extreme risk of fire) Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) Extra batteries First aid kit Medications (seven-day supply) and medical items Multi-purpose tool Sanitation and personal hygiene items Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies) Cell phone with chargers Family and emergency contact information Extra cash If someone in your home is dependent on electric-powered, life-sustaining equipment, remember to include backup power in your evacuation plan. Keep a non-cordless telephone in your home. It is likely to work even when the power is out. Keep your car’s gas tank full. What Should You Do During a Power Outage? Keep Food As Safe As Possible Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First use perishable food from the refrigerator. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about four hours. Then use food from the freezer. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. Use your non-perishable foods and staples after using food from the refrigerator and freezer. If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items. Keep food in a dry, cool spot and keep it covered at all times. Electrical Equipment Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics. Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment. Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on. Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested. Use Generators Safely When using a portable generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a portable generator to a home’s electrical system. If you are considering getting a generator, get advice from a professional, such as an electrician. Make sure that the generator you purchase is rated for the power that you think you will need. What Should You Do When the Power Comes Back On? Do not touch any electrical power lines and keep your family away from them. Report downed power lines to the appropriate officials in your area. Throw Out Unsafe Food Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for two hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out! Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, bacteria causing food-borne illnesses can start growing quickly. Some types of bacteria produce toxins that cannot be destroyed by cooking. If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it. If you are not sure food is cold enough, take its temperature with the food thermometer. Throw out any foods (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been exposed to temperatures higher than 40° F (4° C) for two hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture, or feels warm to touch. Caution: Carbon Monoxide Kills Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire. Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide. If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you. Let Your Family Know You’re Safe!
BEFORE WINTER STORM: To prepare for a winter storm you should do the following: Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit: Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products. Sand to improve traction. Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment. Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove. Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm. Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency. A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services. Download FEMA’s Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications at: www.ready.gov/prepare. Free smart phone apps, such as those available from FEMA and the American Red Cross, provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid, and seeking assistance for recovery. Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle. Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water. Winterize Your Vehicle Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car: Antifreeze levels – ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing. Battery and ignition system – should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean. Brakes – check for wear and fluid levels. Exhaust system – check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning. Fuel and air filters – replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing. Heater and defroster – ensure they work properly. Lights and flashing hazard lights – check for serviceability. Oil – check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well. Thermostat – ensure it works properly. Windshield wiper equipment – repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level. Install good winter tires – Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs. Winterize Your Home: Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic. Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm. Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year. Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing. All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear. Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions. Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts). Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out. Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow – or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work. Know the Terms: Know the terms used to describe changing winter weather conditions and what actions to take. These terms can be used to determine the timeline and severity of an approaching storm. (Advisory / Watch / Warning). The NWS also issues advisories and warnings for other winter weather, including blizzards, freezes, wind chill, lake effect snow, and dense fog. Be alert to weather reports and tune in for specific guidance when these conditions develop. Freezing Rain – Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines. Sleet – Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery. Wind Chill- Windchill is the temperature it “feels like” when you are outside. The NWS provides a Windchill Chart to show the difference between air temperature and the perceived temperature and the amount of time until frostbite occurs. Winter Weather Advisory – Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening. The NWS issues a winter weather advisory when conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous. If caution is used, these situations should not be life-threatening. Winter Storm Watch – A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for more information. The NWS issues a winter storm watch when severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, may affect your area but the location and timing are still uncertain. A winter storm watch is issued 12 to 36 hours in advance of a potential severe storm. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, TV, or other news sources for more information. Monitor alerts, check your emergency supplies, and gather any items you may need if you lose power. Winter Storm Warning – A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area. Blizzard Warning – Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile) are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer. Frost/Freeze Warning – Below freezing temperatures are expected. Carbon Monoxide: Caution!!!! Each year, an average of 430 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, and there are more than 20,000 visits to the emergency room with more than 4,000 hospitalizations. Carbon monoxide-related deaths are highest during colder months. These deaths are likely due to increased use of gas-powered furnaces and alternative heating, cooking, and power sources used inappropriately indoors during power outages. Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal¬ burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Keep these devices at least 20 feet from doors, windows, and vents. The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire. Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide. If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.
Before a Flood: You should know that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Floods can even be in areas with a low risk of flooding. Just because you haven’t had a flood in the past doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Flood risk is based on a lot of factors including rainfall, landscape, flood-control measures, river-flow and tidal-surge data, flood history and changes due to new construction and development. Flood-hazard maps have been made to show the flood risk for your area. This helps figure out the type of flood insurance coverage you need. Regular homeowners and renters insurance don’t cover flooding. The lower the degree of risk of flooding, the lower the flood insurance premium. To prepare for a flood: Build an emergency kit. Make a family communications plan. Do not build in a floodplain unless you raise it up and support your home. Raise up the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in a high flood risk area. Think about putting in “check valves” to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home. If you can, build barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building. Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds. Know the terms: Flood watch – rainfall is heavy enough to cause rivers to overflow their banks. Flooding is possible. Flood warning – flooding is occurring or very likely to happen in an affected river, lake or tidewater area. If told to leave, do so immediately. Flash flood watch – flash flooding in specified areas is possible. Be alert! You may need to take quick action. Flash flood warning – flash flooding is occurring or is likely to happen along certain streams and select areas. Get to a safe place immediately! During a Flood: If a flood is likely in your area: Listen to the radio or television to learn what to do. Know that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move quickly to higher ground. Do not wait to be told to move. Know that streams, drainage channels, canyons and other areas can flood quickly. Flash floods can happen in these areas with or without typical warnings. If you must leave: Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move important items to an upper floor. Turn off water, gas and power at the main switches or valves if told to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you. Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, leave the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly. Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers or creeks, particularly during threatening weather. What is the difference between a flood and a flash flood? Flash flooding is a result of heavy localized rainfall such as that from slow moving intense thunderstorms. Flash floods often result from small creeks and streams overflowing during heavy rainfall. These floods often become raging torrents of water which rip through river beds, city streets, coastal sections and valleys or canyons, sweeping everything with them. Flash Flooding usually occurs within 6 hours of a heavy rain event. On the other hand, the more long term “flood” is a natural and inevitable part of life along our country’s rivers. These floods occur seasonally with general rains or torrential rains associated with tropical storms, that later drain in river basins and fill them with an over- abundance of water. General flooding occurs in urban areas and areas with poor drainage after heavy rain. FLASH FLOOD SAFETY RULES In hilly terrain, flash floods can strike with little or no advance warning. Distant rain may be channeled into gullies and ravines, turning a quiet stream into a rampaging torrent in minutes. Never camp on low ground next to streams since a flash flood can catch you while you’re asleep. Do not cross flowing stream on foot where water is above your ankles. If you are driving, don't try to cross water-filled areas of unknown depths. If your vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and go to higher ground. Rapidly rising water may sweep the vehicle and its occupants away. Many deaths have been caused by attempts to move stalled vehicles. Be especially cautious at night. It’s harder to recognize water danger then. Don’t try to outrace a flood on foot. If you see or hear it coming, move to higher ground immediately. Be familiar with the land features where you live, work, and play. It may be in a low area , near a drainage ditch or small stream, or below a dam. Be prepared! Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or a local TV/radio station for the latest statements, watches and warnings concerning heavy rain and flash flooding in your area. In the event of a life threatening emergency, call 9-1-1.
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Town Hall: (910) 436 – 0241 • Water Department: (910) 703 – 8912
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