GREENWOOD — September is the height of the Atlantic hurricane season and National Preparedness Month.
Delaware Electric Cooperative is urging its members and the communities it serves to take precautions and prepare for the possibility of severe weather.
Impacts from tropical storms can damage or destroy Cooperative utility poles and power lines, leading to extended power outages.
To prepare, the Co-op recommends members create an emergency plan and gather supplies for a preparedness kit to be ready if homes and properties are directly impacted.
Develop a household emergency plan by identifying different emergency scenarios and organizing responses to them. The plan should include a central meeting location to gather in the event of an emergency and information on how to stay in contact with family members, if separated.
In addition to having an emergency plan, Delaware Electric Cooperative is urging members to create an emergency-preparedness kit with non-perishable food, enough water for several days, extra clothes, a first aid kit, copies of important documents, medications, and a flashlight. Make sure to include pet supplies as well. Having this kit on-hand and stocked is essential if a storm causes power outages or limits access to local grocery stores for an extended period.
"Severe weather can strike at any moment, and it's crucial to be prepared,” said Delaware Electric Cooperative president and CEO Rob Book. “In 2012, Hurricane Sandy was a reminder of how devastating hurricanes can be. Low-lying areas in our service territory were without power for days. We urge members to prepare in advance and take weather warnings seriously."
While hurricanes often cause the most damage to power lines and electrical equipment, an emergency plan and kit can help members weather storms during every season.
Delaware Electric Cooperative reminds the community to never approach downed power lines or other electrical equipment damaged as a result of severe weather — always assume they are energized and call 911 and the Co-op immediately to report the safety hazard.
Mr. Book said, “During major weather events, DEC's crews focus on safely keeping the lights on, and we encourage our members to focus on staying safe. By taking these steps, members can be confident that they are ready for whatever the season may bring.”
For more information, visit delaware.coop.