Duke Energy, Red Cross prepare for possible effects of Hurricane Sandy

by: Torie Wells Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Red Cross volunteer Woody Williams was called in Friday. His job is to make sure that if the disaster truck is called to the coast, it gets there safely and has everything disaster teams need.

"This vehicle can be used for mass feeding," Williams said.

There are two from Charlotte on standby, along with two shelter teams of volunteers.

"Each one has a role -- one person is checking in -- another person serving in a nurse capacity," said Jason Gudzunas, from the Red Cross.

Gudzunas said each truck is manned by at least two people. The shelter teams have six to eight people.

"They usually put their lives on hold for these disaster operations, and they usually can go for two weeks," Gudzunas said.

He said the Red Cross in Charlotte is working with others in the state, as well as government officials, to track the storm. They don't have to wait until a storm hits for it to be decided the truck and its help are needed.

Duke Energy said its trucks are ready, as well. It is watching the storm and is ready to deploy crews if power is knocked out.

"We have internal calls to talk about the path of the storm or where we think the storm will go," said Jason Walls, from Duke Energy.

Duke already has crews throughout the Carolinas, but until a storm hits those crews won't be moved. 

"Until we see what kind of damage the storm brings, if any, it's not in our best interest to move things one way or another," Walls said.

Eyewitness News asked if the Progress merger could make hurricane response different now. 

"We do have more resources we can pull on to restore power as quickly and safely as possible," Walls said.

The Red Cross said it has a hurricane app to help people prepare, then know what to do if a storm hits. Duke Energy said it will use Twitter to get information out if there are outages.