Editorial – Storms should keep us on our toes

Published 4:44 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2023

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June hurricanes are pretty rare in the United States, and even rarer up here in the mid-Atlantic, where the ocean waters don’t get good and warm until later in the summer.

Nonetheless, we’re keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Bret (somehow we missed his initial-A cousin, the first named storm of the Atlantic season) as he blows west toward the Lesser Antilles. Thankfully, few models were showing a turn north as we penned this on Tuesday.

Last Friday’s storms, including a tornado that touched down in neighboring Isle of Wight County, remind us to be at all times “weather aware” and prepared.

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Dominion Energy passed along some helpful tips this month that we share here with commendation. 

  • Know how to report an electricity outage and track restoration. There are three ways: 1) Dominion Energy mobile app; 2) Dominion’s website, dominionenergy.com; or 3) call 866-DOM-HELP. If you haven’t already, download the app now so you’ll be ready when a storm comes.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • If you see a power line low to or on the ground, report it by calling 866-DOM-HELP and stay at least 30 feet away. The line could be energized and dangerous.
  • Charge your devices before the storm. 
  • Fully charge your phone, computer and other electronic devices before a storm arrives. Consider purchasing portable batteries to extend the life of your devices.
  • Properly connect your generator. 
  • If you have a generator, make sure it is fueled, tested and properly connected before the storm arrives, and always operate it outdoors with good ventilation.
  • Prepare food, water and emergency supplies.
  • Before any storm, it’s always good to have bottled water and non-perishable food on hand, as well as emergency supplies such as flashlights, batteries, first aid kits and medications.

“When a major storm hits, we work hard to keep the lights on and restore them quickly when power goes out,” said Jason Holland, Dominion Energy Virginia’s director of electric distribution operations centers and emergency preparedness. “Storm preparation is a year-round process for Dominion Energy. When one storm ends, we use lessons learned to prepare for the next one. We encourage all of our customers to get their homes ready as well.”