Emergency preparedness may not always be on our minds, but it should be. Your electric cooperative cannot guarantee uninterruptible electricity supply.
What steps can you take to be prepared in case of a power outage? Outages that are four hours or fewer are inconvenient, but usually don’t present a real emergency. As the outage extends to eight hours and beyond, preparedness is more important.
Those of you who rely on water from wells serviced by electric pumps should consider alternatives for accessing water during power outages. Some members have a hand pump they have either attached or can attach to their well to pump water in the absence of electricity. Some form of water storage is another consideration. A generator fueled by propane, gasoline or diesel connected directly to your well or your home or business can provide the electricity needed to run an electric well pump in the event of an outage. Please remember to use only properly installed generators, otherwise they could be dangerous to you or our linemen working to restore electricity.
Many of you rely on electricity for lighting, heat, hot water and cooking. Consider alternatives for each of these in the event electric service is disrupted for an extended time. Again, a generator can provide a backup to electricity for each of these uses.
There are less expensive steps you can take to be prepared. Candles, flashlights and battery-operated lights may be useful. Approved lanterns for indoor use are another option. A wood or propane stove is a good choice to heat water or cook, and keep your living space comfortable.
Home food storage is important during an extended outage. If they are able to conduct business, grocery stores could have their shelves emptied within hours.
Sit down with your family and consider how to prepare for an extended power outage. Once you have a plan, you can begin taking those steps.
Reliable electricity is part of our mission at West Oregon Electric Cooperative, and we will continue do everything within our control to provide it.