If you’ve ever lived in a storm-prone town you know how scary it can be when a strong storm rolls in—torrential rains, howling winds, waiting in line at the grocery store for the last case of water and making sure no one steals your plywood for boarding up your windows. All joking aside, hurricane season is not to be taken lightly.
Hurricanes are most common June through November. According to hurricane researchers at Colorado State University, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane predication is considered a “slightly below-average” season. They are anticipating 11 named storms with six developing into hurricanes and two of those reaching strengths of a Category 3 or higher. Most Medina EC members aren’t in the direct path of hurricanes, but we do often see the effects of the storm—severe rain and flooding, high winds and hail, and even tornadoes can spawn from hurricanes. It’s important to be prepared in the event of a hurricane or severe storm.
Before the Storm
You can reduce your risk of property damage by maintaining the outside of your home. Keep trees trimmed and remove already damaged trees and limbs from your property. Ensure that gutters and downspouts are secure and clear of debris. Stake down trampolines, basketball hoops and other loose objects that could be lifted in high winds.
Prepare for power outages by making a power outage kit. Stock it with flashlights, batteries, a back up phone battery, a batttery-powered radio, paper plates and plastic utensils, and a wind-up clock. It’s also a good idea to stock up on drinking water and canned goods. Don’t forget a can opener!
During the Storm
Waiting out a storm can be scary. Stay away from windows and avoid going outside. Listen to weather alerts using your battery-powered radio. If there is lightning, do not touch metal or electrical objects. Evacuate your home if instructed to do so by authorities.
After the Storm
If flooding has occurred, do not attempt to drive through high waters. Be sure to check in with family and friends after a storm to let them know you are safe and to make sure they are OK, too. Don’t forget to take pictures of damage to your property to help with insurance claims. Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to debris and downed powerlines. If you notice powerlines are down, do not go near them and call 911 immediately.
As your electric co-op, our goal is to provide safe, reliable electricity. However, severe weather can affect your power. High winds, heavy rains and lightning are often culprits of power outages during storms.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I report my outage?
You can report your outage by calling 1-866-MEC-ELEC or by logging into SmartHub on your computer or as an app for your phone.
Can I report my outage on Facebook or Twitter?
Do not report outages through social media or email. They are not monitored 24/7 and do not work with the outage system our crews use to report to locations.
My neighbor already called in an outage, so I don’t have to, right?
Wrong. It’s important that an outage is reported for individual meters. This helps crews determine the possible cause and location of the problem.
Where can I find outage information?
An outage map is available on our website at MedinaEC.org. It will give a cause, if known, and give you an idea of any other problems that crews are facing on the system.
What if I’m not home to know about an outage?
At times, our system is capable of recognizing when a location is out of power and when power has been fixed. You can sign up to receive text message alerts if we are made aware of an outage at your meter and when power is restored. Learn how to sign up at MedinaEC.org/SH.
What should I do for my appliances?
If you can, unplug your appliances during an outage and plug them back in after power is restored. This will help prevent power surges. Remember to keep your refrigerator and freezer doors shut to preserve food.