With the National Weather Service winter storm watch in effect, Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) has activated its Emergency Restoration Plan and is readying its line crews, right of way crews and office staff in case severe winter weather disrupts electric service.
“At each of our district offices, we’re making sure our trucks are fully stocked, fueled and ready to roll,” said Jim Smith, vice president of engineering and operations. “All of our line crews and right of way crews will be on call and dispatched to any outages that may occur. Our Systems Control, the nerve center of our distribution network, will continue to monitor the cooperative’s more than 13,700 miles of energized wire throughout Wednesday and into Thursday to detect outages as they occur.”
Jackson EMC warns all residents to avoid any downed power lines, and to assume that any power line is electrified, even if it doesn’t appear to be. If a line is down across a road or in any other location that poses an immediate hazard, 911 should be notified.
In the event of an outage, Jackson EMC customers should call their local office and use the Automated Outage Reporting System. It will speed the reporting time if customers have their account name, address and phone number ready.
“During a major outage, Jackson EMC works to restore power to the most people in the shortest amount of time,” explained Smith. “When outages are occurring throughout our system, the first priority is restoring the lines that will return service to the largest number of customers with each repair. This means that our workers usually try to restore a main line before restoring power to individual customers. In the event of ice-related outages, we want our customers to know that we’re working as fast as possible to get the power back on as soon as possible.”
Ice storms frequently cause damage to individual homes, meter boxes and the spot where power enters the home, called the service entrance. When that occurs, power can only be restored after an electrician has repaired the damage.
During any power outage, customers can use a battery-operated radio to check local radio stations for any updates, and will find outage information on the cooperative’s Website http://www.jacksonemc.com/storm/, including a map of current outages, as well as information about preparing for a storm, electrical safety after the storm and generator safety.