Public Power Communities Prepare for Hurricane Season Year-round


Nobody looks forward to hurricane season and the destruction storms can bring.

At the Climate Prediction Center, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service forecasters have predicted above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin in 2024.

But residents and business owners in public power communities can be confident that their locally based electric utility crews are ready to respond to storms and to keep their lights shining.

Public power communities prepare for hurricane season all year to ensure that local electric grids are reliable and resilient when adverse weather strikes.

All year long, electric utility employees in public power communities focus on performing maintenance and removing dangers to the electric grid. That includes replacing aging utility poles and trimming trees that threaten to interfere with power lines.

Public power communities also benefit from a mutual aid network that enables them to give and receive support from lineworkers in public power communities nearby or across the country.

Nick Whitley is Supervisor of Safety and Training with ElectriCities, a membership organization that supports public power communities in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Whitley coordinates mutual aid for ElectriCities member communities.

“When a storm ravages a community, mutual aid crews work with local crews as the first responders who safely and quickly restore power in dangerous conditions,” says Whitley. “Prioritizing hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, and other critical infrastructure, crews work circuit-by-circuit to get every light back on.”

After a storm passes and once the lights are back on, public power communities remain focused on maintaining a resilient electric grid.

“From hurricane training drills to tree trimming maintenance, public power communities are always preparing for the threat of a storm,” says Craig Batchelor, Manager of Safety and Training at ElectriCities. “By preparing year-round, public power communities set themselves up for success in the face of dangerous storms and remain ready to support other communities through mutual aid.”