Every summer, employees from operations, member services and accounting come together for an emergency response planning meeting to discuss and update CEC’s natural disaster action plan. Employees attend this important meeting to discuss their roles in the emergency response process. This includes everything from preparation to assessment to restoration and everything in between. Everyone understands their responsibilities and we make adjustments as needed to ensure we are strategically prepared for a major disaster. Our priority in these situations is to restore power in the most effective, efficient and safe manner possible.
When a natural disaster is imminent CEC will:
• Request personnel and equipment from other cooperatives and contractors to assist with damage assessment and restoration efforts,
• Secure lodging, food and laundry services for the assisting workers,
• Arrange for adequate disaster funds,
• Secure on site and off site fuel for vehicles and bucket trucks,
• Order extra materials and supplies,
• Communicate preparation efforts to our membership through the local news media and online via social media and our website.
The CEC service territory has been hit hard by hurricanes in the past. Most notably in 1995 when Hurricane Opal devastated our area and again in 2004 with Hurricane Ivan. In both cases, many CEC members were without power for multiple days. When these storms bring catastrophic damage our way, we literally have to rebuild parts of our system. The crews work very long hours every day until service is restored to all homes that can take service. Even with dozens of assisting crews, the process is daunting and it takes time.
We want our members to know that we are committed to restoring service as quickly and safely as possible. We will communicate our restorations efforts daily and you can always call our offices for updates as well.
Below is a graphic that shows the restoration process after a storm.