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Duke Energy donates $50,000 to support county's response to severe weather events

Henderson County's Emergency Management Department is one of numerous first responder agencies that have won grants from Duke Energy to prepare for severe weather events, the utility announced Thursday.

Duke made grants of more than $750,000 to reinforce first responders' ability to help residents prepare for and recover from hurricanes, flooding, snowstorms and other weather events.

Henderson County received $50,000 to the county’s All-Hazards Response Initiative to buy equipment to aid in disaster recovery that could include water rescue, severe weather or other natural disasters. The equipment will be used locally, regionally and statewide as directed by mutual aid agreements. Items include rapid deployment tents, tent heaters, Henderson HVAC and a rescue boat trailer.

“Emergency preparedness and storm recovery begin at the local level,” Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president, said in a news release. “Households and businesses across our state have endured a number of significant and costly storms in recent years. These grants will help our communities by giving our first responders the tools and training they need to tackle whatever Mother Nature throws our way.”

This year’s emergency preparedness, response and recovery grants are designed to help organizations with key roles in emergency preparedness increase their ability to bounce back more quickly from major weather events through advanced preparation and planning. Grants will help local communities do everything from fund new materials, kits and shelters to provide specialized training for first responders for severe weather scenarios.