If you live the eastern portion of the country, this week's weather has made you more familiar with the harsh realities of winter -- numbing temperatures, blowing snow and frozen roadways.
Serious winter storms can create a variety of hazardous conditions including loss of power and downed power lines.
Duke Power in the Piedmont Carolinas is prepared for any potential winter weather interruptions.
"We are carefully monitoring this weather system and are prepared for any potential damage to our service territory," said E.O. Farrell, senior vice president.
Ferrell added that downed power lines may present serious safety hazards for anyone who could come in contact with the lines or objects touching them.
"Member of the public should treat any downed lines with extreme caution," continued Farrell. "Report all downed lines to your local power company."
If the winter storms are headed your way, Duke Power offers the following suggestions to help you keep safe and avoid potential hazards.
- Make sure blanket, portable radios, flashlights and fresh batteries are available.
- Exercise extreme caution if you use candles or oil lamps for light. Don't leave them unattended and keep them away from furniture, drapes and other flammable materials.
- Listen to local radio and TV stations for status reports about affected areas and restoration activities.