August 11 is National Safe Digging Day! Prepping for an outdoor project? Remember these steps for safe digging:

The month of June officially kicked off the summer season, but it also marks the beginning of a potentially dangerous time—hurricane season. North Carolina sits on the Atlantic coast, and hurricanes often bring flooding, power loss and wind-damage to this area, as well as areas inland. Follow these tips to brush up on what to do before, during and after a storm to keep you safe and minimize damage to your home:


Before a Hurricane:

  • Outline a communications and evacuation plan for your family before a hurricane warning is issued to minimize confusion and fear. If you have pets or any livestock, include them in your plan.
  • Create an emergency kit that includes 72 hours’ worth of food, water, medication and any other supplies you may need.
  • Bring all lawn furniture, decorations, toys and garbage cans in from outside. Tie down items that can’t be brought in like boats and trailers.
  • Fuel up your car. A loss of electricity could put gas stations out of commission until power is restored.
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. Plywood can be used to board up windows and doors if your house doesn’t have hurricane shutters.
  • Secure your home and evacuate immediately if you live in a mobile home or flood zone.


During a Hurricane:

  • Stay indoors and away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
  • If flooding is imminent, turn off electricity at the main breaker.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio or TV for information about the storm and evacuation procedures.
  • Avoid using the phone except for serious emergencies.
  • Do not go outside until officials have issued an all clear, even if the winds have subsided. You may be in the eye of the hurricane and about to face another round of high-winds and heavy rain.


After a Hurricane:

  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and flooding even after the hurricane has passed.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines. Report them immediately to your local co-op.
  • If power was out for an extended period of time, throw out any food that may have spoiled in the refrigerator.
  • Take pictures of any damage that has occurred to your home for insurance purposes.
  • If running a generator, place it in a dry, well-ventilated area away from air intakes into the home. The generator should be properly grounded and connected to appliances with proper power cords.
  • Report power outages to your local electric cooperative.

Preparing for hurricane season will help you stay safe, potentially saving lives and money. You cannot prevent hurricanes, but you can minimize damage to your home and injury to your family by gathering supplies, preparing your home and planning for a possible storm before the hurricane season starts.


Important Information to Remember:

  • Memorize Lumbee River EMC’s telephone numbers (910) 843-4131 or (800) 683-5571
    • when reporting an outage select option 1 then option 3
    • be sure your account(s) have the correct phone number
    • have your account number available
  • All outages should be reported through the outage management system to ensure proper handling.
  • With high call volumes and wait times we may not be able to answer your call, we assure you that our outage management system is designed to get your call and get you on the restoration list promptly without speaking to a representative.
  • To view outage information in your area, please view Lumbee River EMC’s Outage Map at https://outages.lumbeeriver.com/ 
  • Check our website and social media sites for updates when available
  • Members with electric powered medical equipment or medical issues in general should note that power outages can last for multiple days, please have a backup plan in place to move if necessary
  • Members with critical electrical load should also have a backup plan in place for service


Here at Lumbee River EMC, it is our priority to work as safely and quickly as possible to restore your power!

Accidentally contacting a power line can be dangerous and in some cases, even deadly. Your Touchstone Energy cooperative wants to help our members stay safe around power lines.

KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE

Whether you are playing outdoors with your children or working on landscaping projects, keep a safe distance from power lines and other equipment your co-op uses to get electricity to your home.

Always remember to:

  • Stay away from power lines, meters, transformers and electrical boxes.
  • Don’t climb trees near power lines.
  • Never fly kits, remote control airplanes or balloons near power lines.
  • If you get something stuck in a power line, call your Touchstone Energy co-op to get it.
  • Keep a safe distance from overhead power lines when working with ladders or installing objects such as antennas.
  • Never touch or go near a downed power line.
  • Don’t touch anything that may be touching a downed wire, such as a car.
  • Keep children and pets away.

If a power line falls on a car, you should stay inside the vehicle. This is the safest place to stay. Warn people not to touch the car or the line. Call or ask someone to call the local cooperative and emergency services.

The only circumstance in which you should consider leaving a car that is in contact with a downed power line is if the vehicle catches on fire. Open the door. Do not step out of the car. You may receive a shock. Instead, jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground. Once you clear the car, shuffle at least 50 feet away, with both feet on the ground.

As in all power line related emergencies, call for help immediately by dialing 911 or call your electric utility company’s Service Center/Dispatch Office.

Do not try to help someone else from the car while you are standing on the ground.

Preventing Electrocutions Associated with Portable Generators Plugged Into Household Circuits

When power lines are down, residents can restore energy to their homes or other structures by using another power source such as a portable generator. If water has been present anywhere near electrical circuits and electrical equipment, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician.

If it is necessary to use a portable generator, manufacturer recommendations and specifications must be strictly followed. If there are any questions regarding the operation or installation of the portable generator, a qualified electrician should be immediately contacted to assist in installation and start-up activities. The generator should always be positioned outside the structure.

When using gasoline- and diesel-powered portable generators to supply power to a building, switch the main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the “off” position prior to starting the generator. This will prevent power lines from being inadvertently energized by backfeed electrical energy from the generators, and help protect utility line workers or other repair workers or people in neighboring buildings from possible electrocution. If the generator is plugged into a household circuit without turning the main breaker to the “off” position or removing the main fuse, the electrical current could reverse, go back through the circuit to the outside power grid, and energize power lines or electrical systems in other buildings to at or near their original voltage without the knowledge of utility or other workers.

The problem of backfeed in electrical energy is a potential risk for electrical energy workers. Electrocutions are the fifth leading cause of all reported occupational deaths. Following the safety guidelines below can reduce this risk.

Generator use is also a major cause of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Generators should only be used in well ventilated areas.