The winter storm we're expecting Tuesday - Thursday carries the potential for ice bringing down power lines, leading to power outages.
Ice can increase the weight of tree branches by 30 times. Falling limbs are a main source of downed power lines. An accumulation of .5" of ice on power lines can add as much as 500 pounds of extra weight.
If your area is expected to experience any power outages, here's what you can do now to prepare.
Once your power goes out, you should turn off or unplug all unneeded electrical items. That's because when the power is restored, power surges can damage equipment and put a strain on the system.
Find out now where your candles, matches, flashlights, batteries and battery-powered radios are.
Stay away from downed power lines. You should assume that any downed line you see is hot.
Charcoal grills, gas grills and portable generators create carbon monoxide, so they should only be used outdoors.
Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed tight, to help reduce the chances of spoiled food.
Here's how you can get information for your power company:
Santee Cooper customers
Horry Electric customers
Marlboro Electric customers
Reporting outages: (843) 479-3855
Duke Energy/Progress customersTo report an outage or get updates, click here or call (800) 419-6356
Pee Dee Electric customers: