News for members of Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association
Drivers can do more to make 4 Mississippi roadways safer
9 Outdoors Today: Back to Africa
Periodical postage (ISSN 1052 2433)
with fresh 14 Cooking Gulf Coast seafood
MHP Capt. John Poulos
10 Today in Mississippi
PRVEPA Contact Information: Columbia: 601-736-2666 Hattiesburg: 601-264-2458
Purvis: 601-794-8051 Wiggins: 601-928-7277
To pay bills or report outages:
855-2PRVEPA (855-277-8372) Visit us on line at www.PRVEPA.com
1938 - 2018 Member owned. Locally operated. That’s the cooperative difference.
for disaster in advance Every year, the U.S. is hit by many natural disasters, including snow and ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires. These types of disasters pose a significant threat to our communities and homes. The most important step you can take to keep you and your family safe is to prepare beforehand, but knowing what to do during and after the event is crucial as well. Before disaster strikes, familiarize yourself with the types of disasters that are common in your region, especially if you’re new to the area. Many of the specifics depend on what type of disaster you’re expecting, but there are several general guidelines to keep in mind as you prepare: • Water: You will need one gallon per person per day. If you assume your family of four may be stranded for a week, store a minimum of 28 gallons. • Food: Stock up on non-perishable or long shelf-life items, such as canned fruits, peanut butter, jelly and condensed soups. • First Aid Kit: Make sure your kit includes adhesive bandages (assorted sizes), antiseptic wipes, aspirin, hydrocortisone ointment, scissors and a thermometer. For a full list of suggested items, visit www.redcross.org. • Flashlights and candles: Be sure to keep extra batteries and matches (in a waterproof container) on hand. For additional guidance on emergency items to keep around the house, visit www.ready.gov/build-a-kit. Also consider training offered by local emer-
gency management services such as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes. Some disasters occur suddenly, but many bring advance warnings, like hurricanes and winter storms. Pay special attention during the week leading up to the event for local and state government warnings and evacuation notices. Make sure every family member knows what your emergency plan is: staying or leaving, safe rooms in the house, where supplies are located, what to do if anyone is separated, and how to notify loved ones that you’re safe after the event. It’s also a good idea to know where your home’s main water and gas shutoff valves are located. While the U.S. electric grid is reliable, it is possible to lose power during a storm. The outage could be momentary or last hours or even days. If you live in an area where loss of power after a storm could be dangerous, consider purchasing a backup generator for your home. These can cost anywhere from a
few hundred to few thousand dollars, depending on your needs. Be sure to test the generator before the disaster to ensure it’s operating properly. If you don’t have a backup generator and lose power, don’t panic. Most power outages in the U.S. are short and will not last more than a few hours. However, without knowing in advance how long the outage will last, it’s wise to assume and act as though it will last for days. Here are a few general tips for wise energy practices during a disaster: • Consume perishable and refrigerated foods first before they spoil. • Pack frozen foods close together and consider freezing water bottles to eliminate any air pockets. The frozen water will help keep the food cooler longer. • Keep manual tools such as a can opener on hand to replace any electronic gadgets you typically use. • Similar to filling a bathtub with
water before a storm, make sure that all cell phones are fully charged. After the storm, be cautious when leaving your home. Listen to government warnings and use common sense when approaching any damaged buildings or fallen trees. If you see a power line that is down, always assume the wires are live and dangerous. If possible, call your local electric cooperative to report the downed power line. With a little bit of forethought, you’re highly likely to make it through a disaster without too many problems. Remember, you and your family’s safety should always come first. For more information on disaster preparedness, visit www.ready.gov.
Pearl River Valley Electric wishes you and your family a safe and happy holiday!
PEARL RIVER VALLEY ELECTRIC POWER ASSOCIATION
will be closed Wednesday, July 4
Independence Day Crews will be on call throughout the holiday. Call 855-2PRVEPA (855-277-8372) to report an outage.
June 2018 Today in Mississippi
Hurricane Season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30 Every summer, people in south Mississippi brace themselves for the potential threats brought on by hurricane season. The 2018 season begins June 1 and continues through Nov. 30. “We are committed to providing our member-consumers with dependable and safe service in all kinds of weather,” said Randy Wallace, manager of Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association. “Once a hurricane reaches the Gulf of Mexico, we will be prepared and ready to work our plan in case a storm affects our service area.” PRVEPA members should also make plans to protect life and property if a hurricane threatens our region this season (see box to the right). For more safety information, please go to www.PRVEPA.com.
2018 HURRICANE NAMES Alberto Debby Gordon Joyce Beryl Ernesto Helene Kirk Leslie Chris Florence Isaac
Michael Patty Nadine Rafael Sara Oscar
Tony Valerie William
Start thinking now about the supplies you will need to make it through an extended power outage. No doubt there are numerous other items necessary to meet the specific needs of your family. And don’t forget about pets. • Water – at least one gallon daily per person for 3-7 days • Non-perishable packaged or canned food and juices – enough for each person for 3-7 days • Special food for infants or the elderly • Non-electric can opener • Toiletries • Cooking tools/fuel • Flashlight/batteries • Paper plates/plastic utensils • Blankets/pillows, etc. • Clothing – seasonal, rain gear, sturdy shoes • Full tanks of gas in vehicles • First aid kit complete with prescription drugs • Radio – Battery operated NOAA weather radio • Cash – Banks and ATMs may not be open after a storm • Important documents – including insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security cards, etc. Make sure these items are stored in a water proof container.
Be sure to use emergency generators safely Read these tips before you connect Whenever a storm interrupts electric service, especially for an extended period of time, many south Mississippi residents and business owners use emergency generators to help keep food refrigerated and to operate lights and other appliances. Several million portable or standby generators are now in use around the country. However, it is critical that any auxiliary generator is hooked up properly and used correctly and safely. “Generators can help make life bearable after a natural disaster,” said Kurt Brautigam, manager of member services. “We cannot stress enough, however, how important it is that proper safety precautions be taken in order to prevent accidents that could affect consumers, their family members and neighbors, or our line workers.” A permanently-installed standby generator must be wired into a house by a qualified electrician using a transfer switch, which prevents electricity from backfeeding onto power lines whenever the generator is in use. Putting electric current out on lines that are thought to be de-energized can cause serious injury to utility restoration crews or anyone else coming into contact with those lines. Portable, temporary generators should never be attached to a home’s circuit breakers, fuses or outlets, and there are other important safety considerations whenever they are in use.
“The improper use of generators can lead to serious injuries or death, it’s that simple,” Brautigam noted. “That is why it’s so important to follow directions.” • Before you try to start a new generator, read and follow all manufacturer operating instructions. Make sure it is properly installed and grounded. Standby generators must have a transfer safety switch installed by a professional. • Portable generators should never be plugged directly into a home outlet or electrical system—use an extension cord to plug appliances into an outlet on the generator. • Never operate a generator in a confined space, such as a garage. Generators produce gases, including deadly carbon monoxide. They require proper ventilation. • Generators pose electrical risks, especially when operated in wet conditions. Operate a generator under an open, canopy-like structure on a dry surface. Always ensure that your hands are dry before touching a generator. • When you refuel a generator, make sure the engine is cool in order to prevent a fire, should the tank overflow. • Be sure to keep children and pets away from the generator, which could burn them. For more information on the safe use of portable and standby generators, go to PRVEPA.com or SafeElectricity.org.
Standby generators need to be installed with safety in mind Standby generators provide emergency power for many businesses and critical need situations such as hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police departments. Standby generators are installed permanently and are hardwired into the building’s electrical system. Standby generators must be installed by a licensed electrician and meet the requirements of local ordinances and the National Electrical Code.
Contact Pearl River Valley Electric We’re here to serve you. If you have questions about portable or standby generators, please contact us. We can help you find a safe, reliable solution to your emergency power needs.
Today in Mississippi June 2018 Pearl River Valley