Prepping for the windstorm

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Wednesday's predicted high winds could cause more problems than just the rain and snow ever could. After all, who can forget the damage the windstorm last year caused?

Duke Energy says they are gearing up to keep your lights on. There is an army of service trucks gassed-up and at the ready on their main lot downtown on Gest Street.

The memories of Hurricane Ike in September of 2008 are still very fresh in the minds of those who weathered that storm. The Tri-state was caught off-guard and suffered massive blackouts.

But Duke Energy and the Red Cross said this time, not to worry. They said they've got the jump on this wintry blast.

"With Ike we had such a tremendous call volume on our call center," said Duke Energy spokesperson, Sally Thelen.

Duke Energy got a flood of phone calls after 80+ miles per hour winds roared through the tri-state. Ike kept Duke's customers in the dark for weeks and had their crews working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for weeks.

But now, faster help is on the way.

"We've now instituted a call center at home service," Thelen said. "Which allows our call center agents to go online and take live calls, and therefore to help to our customers more quickly."

And speed is the key when the wind causes untold damage. Duke Energy said they are prepared for the possibility of blackouts and Ike gave them plenty of practice.

"It was the strongest storm in this company's 171 history of supplying power here to the tri-state," said Thelen.

Here is what Duke Energy and the Red Cross recommend you stock-up on before the storm.

"Supply of food, plenty of water, you're going to need that, batteries, as many as possible..a crank radio, that's always good to have. plenty of flashlights around," said Ron Hakes with the Cincinnati American Red Cross. "Make sure you get a bunch of blankets for everybody in case the heat goes off."

In the Big Red Box on, you will find a full list of supplies and phone numbers that you are going to want, in case of emergency.

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