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Even with the 2017 hurricane season two years behind us, I don’t think it is one we will forget anytime soon.
Hurricane Harvey devastated many of our cooperative neighbors and fellow Texans. Our service area was spared from the heavy rain and flooding that often makes its way inland, but we know that may not be the case next time. That is the reason we spend so much time preparing and planning on sunny days for the day when heavy rains and hurricane-force winds do impact our members and our electric system.
Each May, key cooperative staff members gather for an emergency operations plan review and drill. The EOP documents roles, responsibilities and mission-critical tasks that need to be addressed in times of emergency, and the meeting includes running through an emergency scenario. It’s different every year—from attacks on our technology systems to storms. Staff works through the scenario so we can find as many issues or needed improvements as possible before an actual event.
For hurricanes and storms that we see coming, staff put the EOP in action before the storm is set to hit. Emails are sent and meetings held days before storms are predicted to make landfall. After the event, staff members sit down and make note of lessons learned: what went well and what we could have done better. We incorporate those back into the EOP so that next time, we can do a better job.
I hope our members approach preparing for storms in the same manner. You will be better able to cope without power or access to resources for a few days if you have certain things done ahead of time. Register your account for outage notifications, sign up for SmartHub, and have an emergency kit ready to go and your batteries and phone fully charged.
Hopefully, none of us ever need to use all our preparation work.
Account Information to Have Nearby
Meter, account number, phone number listed on account.
Hint: Look at the printed issue of the June magazine for a tear sheet you can fill in with this information and put on your refrigerator.
Smartphone: SmartHub application available for download on Android and iPhones.
Call it in: 1-866-MEC-ELEC (632-3532)
If the phone number you’re reporting the outage from isn’t associated with the account where the outage is, you will have to have your meter or account number or the phone number associated with the account.