What to do ahead of major power outages if you’re at home through Florence

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Utility companies in the Mid-Atlantic will band together to get the power back on in the event of a major outage as soon as possible, according to Dominion Energy.

The latest changes in the path of Hurricane Florence are somewhat of a relief to the Hampton Roads region, but Dominion says they will be working around the clock if necessary.

"We may not take a direct hit, but we are not taking our foot off the gas," said Bonita Harris, Dominion's Public Information's Officer. "We are still being prepared for the worst and hoping for the best."

The utility company mentioned wire watchers will be out the lookout for downed power lines.

"If you see an orange or a yellow tape on a downed wire, that means Dominion has been there and they've marked it to let you know that yellow is a Dominion wire," Harris added. "Orange you may have to wait for Sprint or a cable company to come out and make that repair."

They're a few things you can do to prepare if planning to ride out Hurricane Florence.

Dominion recommends you unplug major appliances to avoid power surges, but leave a light on so you'll know when power is restored.

Be sure to check on your neighbors before the storm hits.

"Their elderly relatives, their family and friends who may have a medical condition that may depend on electricity," said Harris. "Make sure they have that medical equipment if needed."

Trees surrounding your home can increase the chances of a power outage, and Dominion recommends anyone to call a professional to remove them.

"If a tree comes across a power line, depending where it breaks off; if it breaks off at the house, you've got a live wire jumping around and that's a very dangerous situation," said Smith Tree Care's lead climber, Kevin McCullough.

A flashlight, candles, matches and plenty of batteries will help you survive the storm without power.

Be sure to use a generator safely if you have one.

Dominion urges people to not touch downed power lines and assume they're not energized.

"We do not automatically know if your lights are out unless you call and report it," Harris added.

There are many ways to contact Dominion Energy.

Follow a few steps on their website or call the 24/7 toll free number 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).

Follow updates on their Twitter and Facebook.

Click here for more hurricane resources