As Tropical Storm Nate churns away in the Caribbean, Jackson EMC crews are preparing for possible effects in northeast Georgia. April Sorrow is Director of PR and Communications, she says with forecasts showing the potential for strong winds and rain, the company has activated its Emergency Response Plan.
“What happens when we see that a storm could impact our area, we start having conversations with additional line crews that we can pull in from other areas,” according to Sorrow. “We started having those conversations two days ago, just to make sure that they would be accessible to us in the event that we did need them.”
Sorrow says residents can prepare for storm hazards with the following tips:
Beware of fallen power lines. If you come upon a fallen power line, assume that it is electrically charged. This includes cable TV feeds and telephone lines. Report any downed line to your power company. Report an outage to Jackson EMC at 1-800-245-4044 or by visiting outage.jacksonemc.com.
Leave it to the professionals. If you feel your house has been damaged, have a licensed electrician check your home.
If you decide to evacuate, make sure the water and electricity are shut off at your residence.
Take proper precautions when using a generator if you lose power. Place the generator outside the home, as dangerous carbon monoxide fumes are odorless and can quickly overwhelm you indoors. Also, never connect generators to another power source, such as power lines. The reverse flow of electricity or “backfeed” can electrocute an unsuspecting utility worker.
Prepare for medical needs, such as having a plan for loved ones who depend on medical equipment that requires electricity. This includes backup power, extra medical supplies and medication, or going to an alternative location until the storm is over.
A final helpful hint. In the event of a power outage, check your breaker panels before calling your power company. Check both the main breaker on the inside panel and outside disconnect (usually only found on newer homes) located close to your electric meter. If the breaker is tripped, it will be stopped halfway between "off" and "on." Turn the breaker off first and then back on to reset it. If you still have power in part of your home, check the individual breakers in the panel.
A list of items to prepare your home or business before the storm is on the Jackson EMC website at www.jacksonemc.com/prepare.