13:43 PM

Perspective: Safe From a Distance

If you’re like me, I appreciate a friendly handshake when seeing a longtime friend or meeting someone for the first time. As we deal with the coronavirus, our new reality means some things, like shaking hands, have temporarily changed. What hasn’t changed is providing reliable power to you and our community.

We’ve always planned for how Jackson EMC will need to operate in a variety of circumstances, like ice storms, tornadoes, and, yes, even pandemics. Our top priority in any circumstance is to keep power flowing to the hospitals, businesses and homes in our community. We know you expect to have reliable service from your electric cooperative. To meet this expectation, we’ve been strategically staffing our linemen and other key personnel during the pandemic to ensure we provide the service you depend on.

You’ll see our line crews in the community – continuing to respond to power outages and working on essential maintenance of power lines and equipment. I’m very proud of our linemen, who continue to work as quickly as safety procedures and conditions allow when there’s a power outage. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, we've divided our line crews into teams to reduce their exposure to the disease and to keep them safe.

Our line crews are practicing social distancing. If you see them in the community, please help keep them and yourself safe by staying at least 10 feet away. Before the pandemic, our line crews welcomed a closer greeting from members. Oftentimes, our crews would hear from members (or their young children) who were curious about their work. We love hearing from our members but ask that you help us maintain a safe working environment.

At our offices, we’re also practicing social distancing. Our drive-thrus are open to serve members while in their vehicles. If you call our offices, you’ll likely speak to someone working from their home. Many of our employees have been working from home as we continue to evaluate our response to the coronavirus.

This is an uncharted time for our community and nation – one that has meant we rethink things, like shaking hands. I’ve been impressed to see the cooperation and innovation among members, community leaders and businesses as we adapt to the changing situation and help others. We’ll continue to adapt while staying focused on providing you with reliable electricity.