Nov. 12, 2013. Employees of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation are on high alert and monitoring a cold front and chance of snow predicted for the cooperative’s service area in case outages occur.
Blue Ridge Electric has one of the best reliability and response ratings in the nation due to system upgrades and vegetation maintenance but severe weather cam sometimes cause outages. The best way to report an outage is by calling the cooperative’s PowerLine at 1-800-448-2383. Cooperative employees are on standby, ready to respond in full force at any time of day or night should outages occur.
Blue Ridge Electric features an online Storm Room complete with preparedness and safety tips, videos, an online outage map and other resources at BlueRidgeEMC.com.
To prepare for severe weather and stay safe and comfortable in the event of an outage, the cooperative recommends having the following supplies on hand in a central location that each member of the household can locate quickly.
- Flashlights and fresh batteries
- Matches with firewood and kindling OR
- A grill with extra propane, charcoal and lighter fluid
- Radio with fresh batteries to listen to weather and news reports
- Extra blankets, sleeping bags or quilts
- Oil lamps and extra oil
- Wind-up or battery operated clock
- Non-perishable food
- Manual can opener
- Paper plates with plastic utensils
- Bottled water or gallon jugs filled with water for drinking and cooking
- Formula and extra diapers for babies
- Thermos for keeping drinks and baby formula warm
- Emergency numbers such as Blue Ridge Electric’s PowerLine, local emergency management, police and hospital contacts
Additionally, its a good idea to have your electronic devices such as smart phones and laptops fully charged.
And, if you require a regular medication, be sure to keep extra supplies on hand. If you or a family member requires oxygen, it’s recommended to have a back-up power source and a personal emergency plan that includes family, friends or local emergency management sources to assist you if needed.
As a safety reminder, Blue Ridge Electric reminds the public that downed power lines can still be energized and therefore dangerous or even deadly. Stay far away from downed power lines, no one except a trained line technician should ever handle a downed power line. If you see a downed line, please report the location immediately to Blue Ridge Electric.
For checking outage status, the cooperative has an online outage map at www.BlueRidgeEMC.com. The cooperative also provides information during widespread outages on its Facebook page and Twitter page.
Blue Ridge Electric serves some 74,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Avery and Alexander Counties.