Now that summer is in full swing, like many of you, we welcome more opportunities to be outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather. Summertime brings many of our favorite activities like cooking out with family and friends, afternoons on the water and simply slowing down a bit to enjoy life.
But summer months also make conditions right for dangerous storms. These potential weather events can cause destruction to our electrical system, but we want you to know that Sumter EMC crews are ready and standing by to respond should power outages occur in our area.
When major storms knock out power, our line crews take all necessary precautions before they get to work on any downed lines. We would encourage you to also practice safety and preparedness to protect your family during major storms and outages.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends the items below as a starting point for storm and disaster preparedness, but you can visit www.ready.gov for additional resources.
- Stock your pantry with a three-day supply of non-perishable food, such as canned goods, energy bars, peanut butter, powdered milk, instant coffee, water and other essentials (i.e., diapers and toiletries).
- Confirm that you have adequate sanitation and hygiene supplies including towelettes, soap and hand sanitizer.
- Ensure your First Aid kit is stocked with pain relievers, bandages and other medical essentials, and make sure your prescriptions are current.
- Set aside basic household items you will need, including flashlights, batteries, a manual can opener and portable, battery-powered radio or TV.
- Organize emergency supplies so they are easily accessible in one location.
In the event of a prolonged power outage, turn off major appliances, TVs, computers and other sensitive electronics. This will help avert damage from a power surge, and will also help prevent overloading the circuits during power restoration. That said, do leave one light on so you will know when power is restored. If you plan to use a small generator, make sure it’s rated to handle the amount of power you will need, and always review the manufacturer’s instructions to operate it safely.
Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for storm and emergency information, and check Sumter EMC’s app, website, and social media platforms for power restoration updates.
After the storm, avoid downed power lines and walking through flooded areas where power lines could be submerged. Allow ample room for utility crews to safely perform their jobs, including on your property.
Advance planning for severe storms or other emergencies can reduce stress and anxiety caused by the weather event and can lessen the impact of the storm’s effects. Sign up for NOAA emergency alerts and warnings, and download our app to stay abreast of power restoration efforts and other important co-op news and information.
We hope we don’t experience severe storms this summer, but we can never predict Mother Nature’s plans. At Sumter EMC, we recommend that you act today because there is power in planning. From our co-op family to yours, we hope you have a safe and wonderful summer.
Abby Berry writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56% of the nation’s landscape.