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Winter Storm Preparedness
What you can do.
Heavy accumulations of ice and snow coupled with fluctuating winter temperatures can bring down utility poles, trees and limbs. This can disrupt power for days on end. With this comes a threat to property and also to life itself.

In a winter storm emergency, restoring power and heat to consumers is Ozark Electric Cooperative’s highest priority, and electric utility crews work around the clock to restore service. Even so, as evidenced during the 2007 ice storm, it can take days to repair the devastating damage of a winter storm.

If you are in the midst of storm recovery, avoid going outside if possible. Downed power lines could be submerged in snow and ice and difficult to identify. When outside, treat all downed and hanging lines as if they are energized electric lines: Stay away, warn others to stay away and immediately contact your utility company. Remember that downed power lines do NOT have to be arcing, sparking or moving to be live and deadly.

Ozark Electric Cooperative stresses the importance of being prepared for dangerous winter storms and the power outages they may cause. You need the right emergency items and knowledge to stay warm and safe in a winter storm. Before winter sets in, update your insulation and caulk and install weather-strips. Call Ozark Electric or professional tree trimmers to cut branches away from your home and power lines. Trees falling into power lines are a major cause of storm-related power outages.

Everyone, particularly families with special needs, must be prepared in case of a winter emergency and long-term power outages. Ozark Electric Cooperative offers the following tips:

Prepare an emergency kit with the following items:
     • Extra blankets
     • Water for drinking and washing
     • Non-perishable food and a can opener
     • First aid kit and prescription medicines
     • Battery-powered radio and flashlights with fresh batteries

• Ozark Electric Cooperative’s Facebook page will have the most up-to-date power restoration reports. If you have not “friended” us on Facebook, please do so.
• Switch off lights and appliances to prevent damaging appliances and overloading circuits when power is restored. Leave one lamp or light switch on as a signal for when your power returns.
• Open your refrigerator/freezer door as little as possible. Food will stay cold/frozen several days if you leave the door closed.
• Running a portable generator can be dangerous to you and to our line crews. Make sure your generator has a double-throw switch. Do not run the generator inside your home/garage.
• To prevent water pipes from freezing, keep faucets turned on slightly so that water drips from the tap. Know how to shut off water valves just in case a pipe bursts.
• Do not use charcoal grills or gas ovens to heat your home; this could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Stay inside and dress in warm, layered clothing.
• Close off unneeded rooms.
• When using an alternative heat source, follow operating instructions, use fire safeguards and be sure to properly ventilate. Always keep a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it.
• To keep the heat in, stuff towels and rags underneath doors.
• Cover windows at night.
• Maintain a regular diet. Food provides the body with energy for creating its own energy.
• Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
• Move around to keep warm, but not enough to perspire. Perspiring causes the body to lose fluids which could potentially lead to dehydration.
• Keep a close eye on the temperature in your home. Infants and the elderly are more susceptible to the cold. You may want to stay with friends, relatives or in a shelter if you can’t keep your home warm.

You can find more storm preparedness and safety tips on this website. Just click on the menu item below labeled Safety Sense”.

Attention High School Juniors – win a FREE trip to Washington D.C.!
Enter our Rural Electric Youth Tour 2015 essay contest.
Ozark Electric Cooperative in Mt. Vernon, MO, wants all area High School Juniors to know that they can win an exciting, all-expenses-paid trip this summer with the 2015 Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington D.C., June 12-18. All juniors have to do is write a two-page essay and enter it by Friday, March 6th! You don’t have to be a member of Ozark Electric! The only requirement is that you are a junior attending a high school or being home schooled in the nine-county area Ozark Electric serves.

The contest brochure with all the details and a video can be found here on Ozark Electric’s website by clicking on “Educational Support”, then “Youth Tour”, or you can call one of our office numbers also on this website for more information.

Don’t delay – essays must be received by March 6th. Two area juniors will be sponsored as delegates by Ozark Electric Cooperative on this trip of lifetime with the 2015 Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington D.C.!