Your Co-op is Ready for Storm Season – Are You?
Is there a better smell than a steak cooking on a grill? Maybe the scent of fresh cut grass. How about the fresh air just before a summer storm? With the first day of summer in just a few weeks, like many of you, I welcome the opportunities to be outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather. I look forward to those summertime smells and life slowing down a little bit, even if it’s just for an afternoon bar-b-que.
Summer months also make conditions right for dangerous storms. These weather events don’t only interrupt your family’s plans for an afternoon picnic, they can also cause destruction to our electrical system. While we don’t have a solution to your outdoor plans being thwarted, I want you to know that your cooperative’s line crews are ready and standing by to respond should these summer storms wreak havoc and cause power outages in our area.
When major storms knock out power, our line crews take all necessary precautions before they get to work on any downed lines. We train and prepare year around to ensure we are ready to respond when the need arises. I would encourage you to also practice safety and preparedness to protect your family during major storms and outages. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends the items below as a starting point for storm and disaster preparedness, but you can visit www.ready.gov for additional resources.
- Stock your pantry with a three-day supply of non-perishable food, such as canned goods, energy bars, peanut butter, powdered milk, instant coffee, water, and other essentials (i.e., diapers and toiletries).
- Confirm that you have adequate sanitation and hygiene supplies including towelettes, soap and hand sanitizer.
- Ensure your First Aid kit is stocked with pain relievers, bandages, and other medical essentials, and make sure your prescriptions are current.
- Set aside basic household items you will need, including flashlights, batteries, a manual can opener and portable, battery-powered radio or TV.
- Organize emergency supplies so they are easily accessible in one location.
In the event of a prolonged power outage, turn off major appliances, TVs, computers, and other sensitive electronics. This will help avert damage from a power surge and will also help prevent overloading the circuits during power restoration. If you plan to use a small generator, make sure it’s rated to handle the amount of power you will need, and always review the manufacturer’s instructions to operate it safely. Never operate a generator indoors. Union County Electric is a Generac Power Systems dealer, so if you are interested in getting your hands on a generator, give us a call.
It's also important to listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for storm and emergency information. Union County Electric Cooperative publishes updates regarding major outages to our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/UnionCountyElectric). Consider following our page for the latest news, tips and events effecting you and your Cooperative.
Finally, allow ample room for utility crews to safely perform their jobs, including on your property. It’s hard to resist watching and wanting to ask the crews questions. But I encourage you to give them space to perform their duties and get service restored as quickly and safely as possible. We are always willing to answer your questions here in the office. So, give us a call with your questions and let the crews focus on the task at hand.
Planning ahead for severe storms can reduce stress and anxiety caused by the weather event and can lessen the impact of the storm’s effects. After the storm passes, there maybe some clean up to be done, but if you have a plan, you will be back tending to the grill and enjoying a second helping of potato salad before you know it.
From our Co-op family to yours, we hope you have a safe and wonderful summer.
“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” – Charles Dickens, Author