Now that summer is in full swing, like many of you, I welcome more opportunities to be outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather. Summertime brings many of my favorite activities like cooking out with family and friends, afternoons on the water and simply slowing down a bit to enjoy life.
But summer months also make conditions right for dangerous storms. We all remember what storms and high wind did to our area last June. These potential weather events can cause destruction to our electrical system, but I want you to know that LaGrange County REMC crews are ready and standing by to respond should power outages occur 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. 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. 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. That said, do leave one light on so you will know when power is restored. 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. Backfeeding to the power grid is not only illegal in most countries, but also very dangerous. It can cause serious harm to you, your neighbors, and the utility workers working to restore electricity.
Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for storm and emergency information, and check LaGrange County REMC’s Facebook page for power restoration updates.
After the storm, avoid downed power lines and walking through flooded areas where power lines could be submerged. Allow ample room for utility crews to safely perform their jobs, including on your property.
I hope we don’t experience severe storms this summer, but we can never predict Mother Nature’s plans. At LaGrange County REMC, we recommend that you act today because there is power in planning. From our co-op family to yours, we hope you have a safe and wonderful summer.