CEO’s Message – September 2022

Severe weather will happen

Anthony Smith headshotSometimes a weather report will predict hazardous weather, but there’s no way to know if your home will be directly in the path of the storm or if your electric service might be disrupted. That’s why it’s important to be prepared. During a prolonged power outage or other emergency, preparedness means having enough food, water, and supplies to last at least a few days.

In honor of National Preparedness Month in September, I want to remind members about the power of preparation. While you don’t have to achieve a “doomsday prepper” level of preparedness, there are a few practical steps you can take to keep your family safe.

Here are some general guidelines recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):

  • Assemble a grab-and-go disaster kit – Include items like nonperishable food, water (one gallon per person, per day), diapers, batteries, flashlights, prescription medications, first-aid kit, battery-powered radio, and phone chargers
  • Develop a plan for communicating with family and friends (via text, social media, third party, etc.)
  • Have some extra cash available; during a power outage, electronic card readers, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and cash machines may not work
  • Store important documents (birth certificates, property deed, etc.) in safe place away from home, for example, in a bank safe deposit box
  • Keep neighbors and coworkers updated on your emergency plans
  • Fill up your car’s gas tank
  • Organize your supplies so they are together in an easily accessible location

Caring for Vulnerable Family Members

If you have older family members or those with special needs, make sure they have enough medication and supplies for a few days. If they don’t live with you, arrange for a neighbor to check in on them. If a severe weather event is expected, consider having your relative stay with you, if possible, otherwise call them daily. If you have an infant or young children, make certain that you have extra formula, diapers, medication, and other supplies on hand to get through an outage lasting several days or more.

Keeping Four-Legged Family Members Safe

For families with pets, having a plan in place in the event of a prolonged outage or an emergency will help reduce worry and stress.

  • Bring pets indoors at the first sign of a storm or other emergency – Pets can become disoriented and frightened during severe weather and may run o during an emergency
  • Microchip your pet and ensure the contact information is up to date
  • Include your pets needs in your emergency kit (include shelf-safe food, bottled water, medications, and other supplies)

At Union Rural Electric (URE), we care about your safety. We strive to keep the power on and to respond quickly and safely when the weather causes outages, but outages can still happen during severe weather. Planning for an emergency today can give you more peace of mind for managing possible future outages.

Anthony Smith