Last Updated on January 17, 2013 2:00 pm
Employees of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation are on high alert and monitoring severe winter weather predicted to bring snow and high winds to the cooperative's service in the mountains and foothills of northwest North Carolina.
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 can sometimes cause outages. The fastest, most efficient 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 the day or night should outages occur.
Blue Ridge Electric offers the following safety and preparation tips to help members stay comfortable and safe if outages should occur. Have the following supplies on hand, preferably in a central location that each member of the household can locate quickly if needed:
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, quilts
Oil lamps and extra oil
Wind-up or battery operated clock
Manual can opener
Paper plates and 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, if you require a regular medication, be sure to keep extra supplies on hand. If you or a family member requires oxygen, it's a good idea 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 by calling any local district office or 1-800-451-5474.
For checking outage status, Blue Ridge Electric provides an online outage map on their website at www.BlueRidgeEMC.com. The cooperative also provides information during widespread outages its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/blueridgeemc and Twitter page at www.twitter.com/blueridgeemc.