18:00 PM

Perspective: Proper Prior Planning

You've probably heard about the six P's of planning: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. That's a very true statement. My wife doesn't understand why it takes at least eight trips to the hardware store to complete a home improvement project; those first seven visits are essential to proper prior planning – it's not until the eighth visit that the action really begins.

Speaking of planning and preparation that leads to action, heroic action I might add, I want to tell you about a couple of our employees who recently put their training to work. Recently, two of our employees rushed to help a man whose car had been hit and then caught fire. They worked together to put out the fire, cut the man loose and get him out of the car. Their planning, preparation and training paid off that day.

All Jackson EMC employees are CPR, AED and First Aid certified. They receive fire safety training, too. Everyone here gets 20 or more hours of safety training each year so they’re ready to respond in the event of an emergency. And we practice. Practice is how we develop a pattern of consistency that becomes habit. These habits are how heroes like Chris Garrish, an engineer at our corporate office, and Michael Moon, a journeyman lineman in our Jefferson District, knew how to react to the fiery car crash and how many other employees have rushed to the aid of others, saving lives.

At Jackson EMC, we prepare for emergencies and develop plans to keep our employees and members safe if we need to put those plans in place. Our plans detail roles and responsibilities of each employee in the event of an emergency. Since we consider ice storms and tornadoes emergencies, we constantly prepare for these events so when they do occur, we are ready.

These plans are about everyone knowing what to do and making sure we know who’s in charge of filling up the gas tanks and who’ll be watching the weather and communicating with fellow co-ops if we need help. Then, we rehearse. We run scenarios and plan our actions. We practice. We prepare. We do this so that when an event occurs, we can respond and repair the lines as quickly as possible. After an event – real or scenario – we review and edit the plan.

Thinking about the future sometimes involves preparing for events you hope never occur and developing skills you hope you won’t need to use. I never want my family to have to climb down the side of a house on an escape ladder; it is a scary thought – but we prepare a fire escape plan and practice climbing down the ladder just in case. It’s important to plan for the future and to be prepared for when things don’t go according to plan.

At Jackson EMC, I promise we’ll do everything we can to keep your power on every minute of every day, but I encourage our members to have a backup plan that is just as robust as ours. We've provided some helpful resources on our website to help you plan for potential power outages. Please remember...proper prior planning prevents poor performance.