Medical Priority Members Need Outage Plan
Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative members on the organization’s “medical priority” list should have either backup power (battery backup or generator) or a backup emergency plan to move to another location where electricity can be provided to meet their medical needs.
Members on the priority list have a special seal affixed to their meter bases, which identifies them as medical priority patients to all CCEC field personnel. Medical Priority means that a co-op member or someone in the member’s household has a medical condition that requires part-time or continuous use of specialized medical equipment that must have electricity to operate. The cooperative tries to inform "medical priority" members of planned outages, However, during major outage situations such as those caused by hurricanes or other major storms, CCEC cannot guarantee that medical priority members’ electrical service will be one of the first to be restored. Most hospitals or doctors’ offices can refer you to facilities to use in case of major power outages. You should contact these facilities to make necessary arrangements before a major outage occurs.
Keeping Safe During Storms & Major Outages
Crews working to restore your power after a storm appreciate your patience and understanding that they are doing everything they can to get the job done as quickly and safely as possible.
Wanting to help our line crews is appreciated, but working with power lines and electricity requires a high degree of training. To restore power with the highest degree of safety, restoration must be accomplished in a certain order and by specific procedures.
Here are some important things you should remember if the power goes out. For a detailed storm preparation video on our YouTube channel, click here.
If power is lost or you plan to evacuate, turn off your heating and air conditioning systems, as well as your electric range and water heater. Unplug sensitive electronic appliances such as televisions, VCRs, microwave ovens and computers. Make sure family members know how to turn off electricity. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before turning on appliances and heating systems after power is restored.
- If your home is damaged, look for electrical system damage, too. If you see sparks, broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main breaker box. Call an electrician. Do not step in water to get to the box. If power lines or poles are down in your yard or in the street, always treat them as if they were energized and dangerous and stay away.
- The real danger of fallen power lines is often hidden. Post-storm debris can conceal power lines that have fallen. Fallen trees that contain energized power lines can energize any item they contact, such as metal fences, a pond, or water. Even the ground can be energized near fallen power lines.
- If your electric service is out, check with neighbors to see if they have power. If they do, you may have a blown fuse or a tripped breaker. Never replace a fuse or reset a circuit breaker with wet hands or while standing on a wet or damp surface.
- If you use candles, remember that open windows and gusty winds can knock them over or blow flammable materials into them.
- If you cook food with Sterno or charcoal or use a gas-powered generator remember to do so outside in a well-ventilated area to avoid deadly carbon-monoxide fumes.
Watch this detailed video about choosing and operating an electric generator.
Portable generators are a good source of alternate power if an outage occurs, but they should only be used in emergency situations. If a generator is improperly installed or improperly operated it can be deadly. If you want to connect a generator to your home’s main electrical supply, you need an electrical permit. You need to be sure a double-pole, double-throw transfer switch is installed. Before operating a generator, determine wattage requirements (volts X amps) by listing all appliances that are going to operate at the same time, and then determine the starting wattage requirements and the running wattage requirements. The starting load lasts only for a few seconds but is very important when figuring your total wattage to be used. Your generator must be rated to handle the total wattage.