Pointe Coupee Electric offers tips for hurricane season

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

NEW ROADS - Every year at this time people in south Louisiana brace themselves for another potentially destructive hurricane season. The 2013 hurricane season began on June 1 and continues through November 30. Joseph H. "Jodie" Cotten, manager of Pointe Coupee Electric Membership Corporation, said, "Since we cannot stop hurricanes the only thing we can do is work on being better prepared and know what to do in case one hits."

Pointe Coupee Electric is offering suggestions on what should be done to protect life and property if a hurricane threatens: Cotten is asking the residents of our tri-parish service area to consider these safety tips when a hurricane warning is issued.

Make plans for action: The best way to cope with a hurricane is to always be prepared for one. A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected in a specified area in 24 hours or less. If a warning is given, stay tuned to radio or TV for official bulletins. Secure lawn furniture and other loose material outdoors. Fill the bathtub with several days supply of drinking water. Turn up refrigerator to maximum cold and do not open it unless necessary. Wedge sliding glass doors to prevent their lifting from their tracks. Check batteries in flashlights, stock up on canned foods and be sure you have plenty of medical supplies. Windows should be secured with tape, plywood or shutters.

Stay or leave? When a hurricane threatens your area, you will have to make the decision whether to evacuate or ride out the storm in the safety of your home. If local authorities recommend evacuation, you should drive carefully to the nearest designated shelter using recommended evacuation routes. Make sure the house is locked and the water and electricity is shut off at main stations. Leave food and water for pets, since many shelters do not allow them. Take small valuables with you, but travel light.

Freezers/refrigerators: First open the freezer door as little as possible. With a freezer that is full, foods can stay frozen up to 72 hours. A half full freezer can still keep food frozen up to 24 hours after the power goes out. Should the power stay off for several days, dry ice can preserve the food in the freezer.

Be cautious: During high winds, electric lines can be torn down by limbs and trees. Any dangling line or lines on the ground can be deadly. Call the Pointe Coupee Electric office to report a downed line, outage or any hazardous situation. PCEMC crews will be on the job as soon as weather conditions permit.

"Pointe Coupee Electric is committed to supplying its members with dependable and safe service in all kinds of weather," said Cotten. "A hurricane is not a pleasant experience. Yet, staying safe and calm can make it an easier one."

Pointe Coupee Electric is your electric cooperative serving areas of Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge and Iberville parishes. The cooperative currently has storm preparedness brochures, hurricane tracking charts and portable generator safety guidelines available at its office at 2506 False River Drive in New Roads. Please stop by Monday-Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to pick up these helpful brochures. You can also go to our website at www.pcemc.org and download this helpful information.