09:27 AM

Perspective: Getting Your Family Storm Ready

The winter storm of 2015 was one of the biggest storms ever to affect our electrical distribution system. In that storm, extreme ice caused power outages in all 10 counties we serve. Our crews – along with 600 linemen from other electric cooperatives – replaced 155 broken poles that snapped under the weight of ice. Did you know: A half inch of ice can add up to 500 pounds of extra weight on power lines!

In our business, weather is the single biggest variable affecting our ability to deliver safe and reliable power. When major storms approach, our plans call for “all hands on deck,” with every Jackson EMC employee serving a role for outage restoration. Our preparation work helps us stay ready to respond to power outages caused by a storm in a manner that’s quick and safe.

During a storm, our System Control is at the center of our outage response efforts – including monitoring weather conditions and dispatching crews to restore power. Our crews ensure their trucks and equipment are fully stocked and ready to roll at a moment’s notice. Just as our employees have plans in place for severe weather, we want you to do the same for your family. If you haven’t prepared your family for severe weather, the good news is that it’s not too late to get started.

Every family has its own unique needs to consider for its stormy weather plans. You may have many family members living in your house. You may have loved ones with special medical needs that require advance planning with their doctors. Or, you may have pets or livestock whose needs should be considered. Factors, like these, should be reviewed when you’re making your severe weather plans. Be sure to include your loved ones when creating a plan that’s right for your family. When your family is prepared for a power outage, you can make the best of the situation.

Over my years of service with electric cooperatives, I’ve seen the value of both the cooperative and members taking the right steps to prepare for severe weather. Just like getting the cooperative ready for a storm, members who have taken steps in advance of a storm to ensure their family will be OK are ahead of the game.

I encourage you to look in this issue of JEMCO News for ways you can prepare for severe weather. We’re offering helpful tips for preparing for an emergency storm kit, including examples of supplies to add to your kit. If you’re like me and you’ve stumbled around in the dark looking for a flashlight or batteries, having those items ready in a kit is handy. You can also learn more about preparing for severe weather at jacksonemc.com/storm. We can’t predict when storms will occur, but we can all do our part to be ready in case a storm turns severe.

Have a story to share on how preparing for severe weather helped your family? Email me at [email protected].