Storm Safety

When the storm threatens, when the storm hits, and after the storm has passed, our main concern is your safety. Pee Dee Electric will be there to handle all your electricity needs.

We urge you to prepare ahead of time. The following preparation safety tips are useful and adaptable for severe weather and time of the year.

When the Storm Threatens

  • Check supplies and make sure you have important items. See our Emergency Kit below for a list of these items.
  • Get refills on necessary medications
  • Unplug major non-vital appliances. Advanced surge protection systems will protect your home from most power surges, but will not prevent damage from a direct lightning strike.
  • Pay attention to local TV and radio broadcasts for storm updates (position, intensity and expected landfall or amount of rain, ice or snow); develop an emergency communication plan in case family members get separated (cell phones may or may not work).
  • Prepare for high winds: board up or tape windows and other glass, secure outside items and brace garage doors.
  • Put important papers in watertight containers and take them with you if you evacuate.
  • If you live in a low area or near a waterway, prepare for flooding: move valuables to upper stories of your home or to another location.
  • Fill your bathtub with water for sanitary purposes; water conducts electricity so it’s not safe to run water during a storm.
  • Make arrangements for pets; they are not allowed in official shelters.
  • People who rely on electric-powered life support equipment should be prepared to move to a facility or shelter that will have back-up power to avoid the risk of an extended power outage.
  • If you plan to use a portable generator, learn its limits and safety procedures beforehand or refresh your memory if you’ve used one before. More portable generator information.

When the Storm Hits

  • Keep TV and/or radio tuned for information from official sources; be prepared to evacuate immediately if notified to do so.
  • If you evacuate, shut off gas, water and electricity at the breaker box. Take blankets, first aid supplies and other essential items to the nearest shelter. Stay indoors in an inside room away from doors and windows, electrical outlets and water pipes; don’t go out in the brief calm during the eye of a hurricane.

After the Storm has Passed

  • Never go near downed power lines; always assume they are energized and extremely dangerous. If someone suffers an electric shock, call 911 or your local rescue squad immediately; even minor shocks may cause serious health problems later.
  • Check for electrical damage inside your home, such as frayed wires, sparks or the smell of burning insulation; keep power off until an electrician can inspect and make necessary repairs.
  • Check outside your house where the power line attaches to your house; damage to the electric wiring on a building is the responsibility of the homeowner. Also check the line between your house and the power pole; damage here could be the reason your neighbors have power but you don’t. Report it to Pee Dee Electric.
  • Make temporary repairs to protect property from further damage or looting. Beware of unscrupulous contractors.
  • Walk or drive carefully. Watch out for debris, downed or sagging power lines. Whether walking or driving, if you come to a flooded road, “Turn
  • Around, Don’t Drown.” You cannot know the depth of the water or the conditions of the road under the water. Just six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock you off your feet.

Emergency Kit

  • Foods: Bottled Water, Crackers, Peanut Butter, Snacks, Canned Fruit, Fruit Drinks, Canned Meat, Dried Fruit
  • First Aid Kit: Prescription Medicines, Bandages and Band-Aids, Antiseptic, Adhesive Tape Rolls, Aspirin/Tylenol, Allergy Medication, Insect Repellent, First Aid Handbook, Scissors, Antibaterial Soap, Safety Pins, Thermometer, Tweezers
  • General Items: Hand-Cranked or Battery-Operated Radio, Plastic Forks, Cups, Napkins, Hand-Operated Can Opener, Batteries for Flashlights and Radio, Plastic Trash Bags, Charcoal (use only outside – never inside), Water Purifying Tablets, Flashlights, Candles and Matches, Clothing and Bedding, Extra Socks and Underwear, Pillows, Sleeping Bags, Blankets, Washcloth and Towel (for each person), Soap, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Deodorant, Shaving Kit, Contact Lens Solution, Hair Care Items, Mirror, Feminine Hygiene Supplies, Paper Towels, Toilet Paper, Watch and/or Clock, Hammer and Nails, Hand Saw, Screwdrivers, Socket Wrenches, Pliers, Measuring Tape

You should have at least one, traditionally wired, land-line telephone, as cordless or cellular phones may not work in an emergency.

Hurricanes start out as a region of thunderstorms called easterly waves and grow into tropical depressions, then to tropical storms, and if conditions are extremely favorable to development, to hurricanes. Our hurricane season starts June 1 and ends November 30 each year.

Hurricanes are classified according to the Saffir-Simpson scale shown below. One should note that the power of wind increases as the cube of the wind speed so that a doubling of wind speed causes an 8-fold increase in wind power! Therefore, a category 5 hurricane’s wind is at least 8 times more powerful than a minimal category 1 hurricane.

Saffir-Simpson Scale for Hurricane Classification

Strength Wind Speed
Miles per Hour
Inches of Mercury
Storm Surge
Category 1 74 to 95 miles per hour Greater than 980  Greater than 28.94 4 to 5 feet
Category 2 96 to 110 miles per hour 965 to 979 28.50 to 28.91  6 to 8 feet
Category 3 111 to 129 miles per hour 945 to 964 27.91 to 28.47  9 to 12 feet
Category 4 130 to 156 miles per hour  920 to 944 27.17 to 27.88  13 to 18 feet
Category 5  Greater than 156 miles per hour  Less than 91 Less than 27.16  Greater than 18 feet

Tropical Cyclone Classification

Tropical Depression: 23 to 39 miles per hour sustained wind speed

Tropical Storm: 40 to 73 miles per hour sustained wind speed

Hurricane: 74+ miles per hour sustained wind speed

Preparations For a Hurricane

To prepare for a hurricane, make the following preparations:

  • Make a family emergency kit.
  • Listen to the radio or watch TV for the latest information
  • Remember, most hurricane damage in inland areas is done by tornadoes and heavy rainfall.

For more information about Hurricanes, what causes them, etc, please visit The National Hurricane Survival Initiative.