EREC is prepared for Hurricane Michael
With Hurricane Michael bearing down, EREC is making final preparations to deal with potential impacts in our area. According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Michael is forecast to make landfall along the Florida panhandle on Wednesday afternoon. Michael will produce very heavy rain, strong wind, and storm surge.
EREC activated its emergency response plan earlier this week, alerting employees and contract crews to be on standby in case of widespread outages.
“Safety is our top priority, and EREC is taking all measures to ensure the safety of our employees and the public in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael,” said Clay Campbell, General Manager/CEO. “As soon as conditions permit, crews will begin assessing damage and making repairs to restore power to our members.”
EREC will make every effort to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Employees and contract crews are on standby to assist in restoration efforts, and internal crew assignments have been made.
“As always, we ask that the public take extra care when making repairs following a storm,” Campbell said. “Downed power lines should always be treated as though they are energized, and portable generators should be operated according to manufacturer’s instructions.”
What to do before, during and after the storm
EREC urges residents to follow these guidelines before, during and after the storm to ensure safety:
- Make sure flashlights, battery-powered lanterns or other sources of light are readily available and batteries are fresh.
- Ensure an adequate supply of bottled water, non-perishable food items, batteries and firewood.
- Ensure an adequate supply of medicine, first aid supplies and baby items.
- Consider moving yourself and your family – especially those with special needs – to an alternate location during an extended power outage.
- If you evacuate, shut off your electricity at the breaker box.
- Pet shelters may require proof of current vaccinations, and be sure to keep a collar with identification on your pet. Also, keep a current photograph of your pet and keep a leash and muzzle on hand.
- Stay inside a sturdy building, away from windows.
- Do not use the phone or run water during lightning storms. Do not take a bath or shower. Currents from lightning can enter through plumbing or water lines.
- Turn off your heating and air conditioning systems.
- Unplug sensitive electronic appliances, such as TVs, DVD players, microwaves and computers, to protect them against power fluctuations that can occur when power is restored.
- Wait five to 10 minutes before turning on appliances and heating/air conditioning systems after power is restored.
- Check for electrical damage such as frayed wires, downed power lines, sparks or the smell of hot or burned insulation. If you find such damage, don’t turn your power on until service crews have made repairs.
- If power lines and poles are down in your yard or in the street, always treat them as if they were energized.
- An electrician must repair damage inside your house. Your electric utility can only hook up power from the pole or underground line to your home. Utility personnel cannot repair your fuse or breaker box, or make other repairs inside your home.
- If your electric service is out, check with your neighbors to see if they have power. If they do, you may have a blown fuse or tripped breaker. Never replace a fuse or reset a breaker with wet hands or while standing on a wet (or even damp) surface.
- Helping line crews is appreciated, but working with power lines and electricity requires a high degree of training. In order to restore power with the highest degree of safety, restoration must be accomplished in a certain order, using specific equipment and procedures. Above all, EREC employees appreciate your patience and understanding.