GREENSBORO, N.C. — Duke Energy is urging customers in Hurricane Dorian's path to prepare for the worst. 

The power company says the historic storm could cause more than 700,000 power outages in the eastern areas of North Carolina and South Carolina. 

The power outages are most likely to occur on Thursday and Friday.

"Hurricane Dorian is a historic storm headed straight up the Carolina coastline," said Duke Energy meteorology director Nick Keener. "This slow-moving, powerful storm will bring hurricane- and tropical-storm-force winds, and rain, over a large area of our coastal, Pee Dee and Triangle regions."

Duke Energy's power outage projections are based on the company's storm modeling tool.

It analyzes storm track, storm size, wind speed, wind-field size, ground saturation and the history of previous hurricanes in the Carolinas.

Duke Energy will have more than 9,000 power restoration workers in the Carolinas in anticipation of the hurricane's arrival.

An additional 4,000 repair workers will travel from 23 states and Canada to the Carolinas to help with the restoration process.

The crews will be supporting the 5,000 Duke Energy lineworkers and tree personnel permanently based in the Carolinas region. 

Before power can be restored, crews first must assess the extent of damage to determine which crews, equipment, and supplies are needed to expedite repairs.

The assessment process could take about 24 hours or more. 

Crews will restore power, where possible, while completing damage assessment.

Safety recommendations:

  • Customers should stay tuned to local news for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center, as well as state and local emergency management officials.
  • For a hurricane kit checklist and important safety information, visit www.ready.gov.
  • Tips on what to do before, during and after a storm can be found at duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/storm-safety.
  • Duke Energy also urges customers to follow instructions and warnings issued by local emergency management officials.
  • Stay away from fallen or sagging power lines, and keep children and pets away from power lines as well. Consider all power lines – as well as trees, limbs or anything in contact with power lines – energized and dangerous.
  • Report all power line hazards using the following phone numbers:
  • 800.769.3766 for Duke Energy Carolinas customers.
  • 800.419.6356 for Duke Energy Progress customers.
  • If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
  • Click here for a video demonstration and to read more about safety around power lines.
  • In advance of a storm, create or update an emergency supply kit to save valuable time later. The kit should include everything an individual or family would need for at least two weeks, especially medicines and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm strikes.
  • Review insurance policies, and include extra copies of the policies and other important documents in your emergency supply kit (ideally in a waterproof container).
  • Maintain a supply of water and nonperishable food.
  • Keep a portable radio or TV, or a NOAA weather radio, on hand to monitor weather forecasts and important information from state and local officials.
  • Charge cellphones, computers and other electronic devices in advance of the storm to stay connected to important safety and response information. Consider purchasing portable chargers and make sure they are fully charged as well.
  • Maintain a plan to move family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe, alternative location in case an extended power outage occurs or evacuation is required.
  • Pet owners can make arrangements to stay at evacuation shelters that accept pets, or at pet-friendly hotels or friends' or family members' homes.

How to report power outages:

  • Visit duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device.
  • Texting OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
  • Call the automated outage-reporting system at 800.769.3766 for Duke Energy Carolinas customers and 800.419.6356 for Duke Energy Progress customers.
  • For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy).