BUSINESS

Pointe Coupee Electric encourages hurricane safety

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

NEW ROADS - Even though the 2013 hurricane season proved to be mild, forecasters are predicting an about-face for 2014. June 1 marked the official start of the hurricane season, with the peak storm threat occurring from mid-August to late October.

When Global Weather Oscillations, a leading hurricane and climate cycle prediction company, released its 2014 hurricane predictions, the upcoming season was described as stronger and more dangerous than a year ago, with 17 named storms, eight hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. While many weather organizations predicted that 2013 would be a strong season, GWO was the only one that did not.

Pointe Coupee Electric wants you to be prepared in the event of one of these dangerous storms. Keep your family safe with these handy tips.

Before the Storm:

• Put together an emergency kit and plan. Communicate the plan with your family.

• Know the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you prepare for the storm surge and any tidal flooding.

• Secure your home: cover all windows with either storm shutters or boards, clear loose and clogged rain gutters, and bring all outdoor furniture indoors.

• Learn your community hurricane evacuation routes.

During the Storm:

• Listen to the radio or TV for information, if possible.

• Avoid using the phone, unless there is an emergency.

• Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, keep the refrigerator thermostat on the coldest setting and keep the doors closed.

After the Storm:

• Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to Pointe Coupee Electric or your utility provider.

• Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads. Watch out for fallen objects, downed power lines, and weakened walls, bridges, or sidewalks.

• Never use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas.

For more tips on planning before, during, and after the storm, visit www.ready.gov/hurricanes. Pointe Coupee Electric is your electric cooperative that has been serving parts of Iberville, Pointe Coupee and West Baton Rouge parishes for over 75 years. We are an equal opportunity provider and employer.