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June 1 marks the opening day of hurricane season, MVEC wants to remind you to take precautions. Here are tips you and your family should practice to stay safe before, during and after the storm.
Even the most reliable electric service can go out, especially during severe weather.
At Magic Valley Electric Cooperative our goal is to provide safe and reliable power, and during a storm or a hurricane our priority is to restore power safely to the greatest number of members in the shortest time possible.
The major cause of most power outages comes from damage to power lines due to falling trees and branches. We work year round – through right-of-way clearing – to ensure power lines in our service territory stand little risk of being damaged by trees, branches or other types of vegetation.
Despite our best efforts, during major storms, damage can occur to transmission stations, substations and power lines. In the event of a power outage, you can trust that Magic Valley Electric Cooperative is ready to respond.
We work closely with South Texas Electric Cooperative (STEC), our generation and transmission provider, to restore power to our members as quickly and safely as possible. The big problems are handled first—such as damage transmission lines which serve substations. These problems must be corrected before we can focus on other areas where more localized damage might have occurred.
STEC and Magic Valley’s line crews inspect substations to determine if the problem starts there, or if there could be an issue down the line. If the root of the problem is at the substation, power can be restored to hundreds, possibly thousands of members.
Next, MVEC line crews check the service lines that deliver power into neighborhoods and communities. Line crews repair the damaged lines, restoring power to hundreds of people. If you continue to experience an outage, there might be damage to a tap line outside of your home or business.
Tips on how to report outages:
- Check and see if your neighbor has electricity. If they do, have an adult check the fuses or circuit breaker to rule out problems with electricity inside your home
- Once you’re sure it’s an outage, report it to your electric utility company. To report an outage to MVEC you can -Report it through the MVEC App -Report it at magicvalley.coop -Call1-866-225-5683
- Stay up-to-date on outages using a transistor radio, your mobile phone on the MVEC App or MVEC Facebook & Twitter pages.
- Use a flashlight when it gets dark; avoid using candles because of the risk of fire.
- Unplug computers, TV’s, game consoles, and other sensitive electronics and appliances to avoid possible damages when the power comes back on.
- Turn off all but one of the lights that were on, so you will notice when electricity is restored. The MVEC app will also send you a notification to your phone when power is restored to your home.
- We will do our best to avoid power outages, but sometimes Mother Nature has other plans.
Preparing for the hurricane:
Make sure flashlights, battery-powered lanterns and other sources of light are readily available.
Make sure flashlights and radio batteries are fresh.
Make sure you have an adequate supply of medicine, first aid supplies, and baby items.
Keep at least a two weeks supply of bottled water, non-perishable food items, batteries and firewood on hand.
If prescriptions are essential, make sure to get them refilled in case of an extended power outage or extensive damage to the area.
Make sure to have identification and documentation on hand, such as your social security card, driver’s license, birth certificate, and insurance information for your home, car, and life.
Have an evacuation plan for you and your family in case of an extended power outage.
Listen to weather forecasts and predictions for possible hurricanes – hurricane season begins June 1 and ends in November.
During the hurricane:
Make sure to get inside a building and stay away from the windows. Don’t leave candles unattended and keep them away from furniture, draperies and other flammable materials. Make sure to keep children away from open flames.
Don’t open freezers and refrigerators any more than absolutely necessary.
Stay connected with MVEC’s website, Facebook and Twitter page for real time power outages updates.
Listen to local radio stations for news about power outages.
Turn off your heating and air conditioning systems, as well as electric range.
Unplug sensitive electronic appliances such as TVs, VCRs, microwave ovens and computers – this will protect your appliances against power fluctuations that can occur when power is restored.
After power is restored, be sure to wait five to ten minutes before turning on appliances and heating systems.
After the hurricane:
If power lines and poles are down in your yard or in the street, always treat them as if they are energized and dangerous. Never touch them and stay away. Make sure to call Magic Valley Electric Co-op at 1-866-225-5683.
Debris from the storm can hide power lines that have fallen. Fallen trees that contain energized power lines can electrocute any item it comes in contact with, such as a metal fence, a pond or standing water. Even the ground can be energized near fallen power lines.
If your electricity is out, make sure to check with neighbors to see if they have power. If they have power, you may have blown a fuse or tripped a breaker. Never replace a fuse or reset a circuit breaker with wet hands or while standing on a wet (or damp) surface.
If you’re without electricity and want to use a portable generator, make sure to use it in a well-ventilated area.
Avoid using candles if possible. If you must, never leave a burning candle unattended.
If power remains out following a storm and you have to cook with Sterno or charcoal, do so outside to avoid the build-up of deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
Replenish your supplies of batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food items and firewood for future hurricanes.