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DEMCO Offers Tips for Hurricane Season

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Every year at this time, people in south Louisiana brace themselves for another potentially destructive hurricane season.

            DEMCO has made necessary preparations for the upcoming season and encourages its members and the community to do the same.

John Vranic, CEO & General Manager of DEMCO, notes that the 2011 hurricane season began June 1 and continues through November 30. “Since we can’t stop hurricanes,” Vranic said, “the only thing we can do is work on being prepared and know what to do in case one hits.”

DEMCO employees make preparations for the possibility of storm-related power outages. The company maintains supplies of essential equipment, such as poles, wires and transformers, and stays in contact with outside crews and sister electric cooperatives to arrange mutual assistance in the case of a natural disaster.

Vranic noted that if past events are any indication, 2011 may very well be an active hurricane season.

The electric cooperative is offering suggestions on what you can do to protect life and property if a hurricane threatens. DEMCO is asking the residents of Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Livingston, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, and West Feliciana Parishes, served by the Coop, 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 water. Turn up refrigerator to maximum cold and don’t open it unless necessary. Wedge sliding glass doors to prevent them from lifting from their tracks. Check batteries in flashlights, stock up on canned foods and make sure you have plenty of medical supplies. Windows can 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’s 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 DEMCO’s office to report a downed line, outage or any hazardous situation. DEMCO’s crews will be on the job 24 hours a day.  Emergency phone numbers should be kept on hand as well.  If outages or downed lines should occur call 225-261-1160 or toll free at 1-800-262-1160

“DEMCO is committed to supply its consumers with dependable and safe service in all kinds of weather,” said Vranic. “A hurricane is not a pleasant experience, yet staying safe and calm can make it an easier one.”

DEMCO is the electric distribution cooperative serving Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Livingston, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, and West Feliciana Parishes.

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