Greenwell Springs, LA – A wintry mix of precipitation and below-freezing temperatures is expected across DEMCO service areas and may result in outages.
“Whenever below-freezing temperatures and rain are forecasted, ice on power lines and tree limbs will likely result in outages,” says David Latona, Vice president of Marketing and Member Services. “Freezing temperatures and rain quickly turn to ice on poles, trees and power lines and outages are the consequence.”
Trees and power lines can fall under the pressure of added weight from icy build up. Just a ½-inch of ice can add 500 pounds to a span of power line - equivalent of stacking 50 one-gallon paint buckets on a span of line. Eventually, the added weight causes the power line to break, interrupting your electric service.
DEMCO urges members to prepare for potential power outages and act to ensure their safety:
- To stay warm wear layers loose-fitting clothes, blankets, and a hat to preserve body heat.
- Use a carbon monoxide detector and ventilate gas/kerosene heaters.
- Do not use gas stoves/ovens to heat your home.
- Have an adequate supply of prescription medicines and any necessary infant supplies on hand.
- If you use medical equipment at home that requires electricity, make sure you charge the battery before the storm.
- If you or someone you know uses life-support equipment that requires electricity to operate, charge the battery before the storm, identify a location with emergency power capabilities and make plans to go there during a prolonged outage. Contact your local health department or emergency management offices about shelters that can assist you during a prolonged outage. If you have a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital.
- Develop an evacuation plan in case it’s needed. Communicate the plan to your family. Include pets or livestock in your plan.
- Fuel your vehicles before the storm as a loss of power could affect gas stations.
- Assemble an emergency storm kit. Include a battery-powered radio, flash light, first-aid kit, battery-powered or wind-up clock, extra batteries, special needs items, an insulated cooler and a list of important and emergency phone numbers.
- Have a telephone with a cord or an extra charged cell phone to use as a back-up. Cordless telephones won’t work during an outage.
- Keep at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food and bottled water and have a hand-operated can opener available.
- Consider having supplies handy for your propane or charcoal grill. Be sure to grill outdoors in well ventilated areas for safety.
- Protect electronics by unplugging sensitive electronics. Use surge protectors.
DEMCO also encourages members to conserve energy to help ease overall demand on the distribution system.
Outages reported using any of the three methods below are automatically received into DEMCO’s system in real time:
- Visit www.DEMCO.org homepage and click Report Outage
- Call 1-844-MyDEMCO (1-844-693-3626) Option 1
- Download the MyDEMCO mobile app available for Android and iOS
Visit the DEMCO Storm Center for additional preparedness and safety resources: www.DEMCO.org/member-services/storm-center