Navigating the new normal

Posted on Jun 06 2020 in Bartholomew County REMC

Courtney Metzger

As we all deal with the new realities brought on by the coronavirus, I want to assure you that your local electric cooperative is here for you. We have always had an Emergency Plan that has served us well in a variety of circumstances, from ice storms to tornadoes to floods. Early in this crisis, we started a comprehensive risk assessment and a pandemic plan with a special emphasis on ensuring we continue to provide the reliable electric service you expect from BCREMC, through this situation and beyond. 

So far, that is exactly what has happened. After a sufficient supply of food and water, electricity is the number one thing you need to function and maintain some sense of normalcy. We know that keeping the power flowing for our members is our number one job.

Currently, our office remains closed for the safety of our members. We will continue to evaluate the pandemic status to determine when to reopen. 

Equally important is the well-being of our employees. We are using new personal protective equipment, best practices, good judgment and safety precautions to keep them safe so they can continue serving you. We are also utilizing innovative ways to work together from safe spaces, including video conferencing, teleconferencing and more. 

Most of our employees are working from home. We have limited the number of employees in the office so that they can practice social distancing, but rest assured, if you call, the phones will be answered as always. Our daily operations may be a bit unusual for the time being, but our service remains the same.

We have separated our line crews from other employees and even from each other to limit possible spread of the virus. Line workers have been assigned trucks so they can head to the job site without coming to the office. New routines are in place and wellness checks implemented so we know our employees are healthy before reporting to the job.

Our management team and employee committees are meeting constantly to fine-tune this plan and update critical business processes where necessary. We are in constant contact with the other electric cooperatives in the state, our power supplier; Hoosier Energy; and our national association.  We also continually monitor the state and national guidelines to give us direction.

So far, it is working well and everyone has adapted to the new norm. Nothing brings out the best in our employees better than a crisis. I know we will take what we have learned and come out stronger than before. The cooperative way of doing business has brought us this far, and the cooperative way will help us through this difficult time. 

All the best to everyone. Stay healthy, stay strong and we will get through this together the cooperative way!