Meridian Star

January 7, 2014

EMEPA prepares for extreme cold temperatures

The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — From staff reports

    The coldest winter temperatures in 20 years are forecast for East Mississippi Electric Power Association’s service area.

    In a press release issued Monday, EMEPA officials encouraged EMEPA members to take the proper precautions in order to prepare for the possibility of severe winter weather. Winter weather can be very hazardous, and officials encourage all members to take the proper safety precautions, the release said.  

    The release said when using emergency heating equipment and kerosene heaters, EMEPA members should maintain ventilation to avoid a build-up of toxic fumes and always refuel outside the home. Vehicles should be fueled and in good repair with adequate antifreeze. Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets in unheated areas to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.  EMEPA also encourages members to check on neighbors, friends and family during extreme winter conditions. And remember to provide pets with a warm place to take shelter from the extreme cold, the release said.

    According to the release, EMEPA personnel have reviewed and checked devices and equipment in preparation for the cold temperatures, which will result in a significant load increase to the system. EMEPA wholesale power supplier transmission systems are in good shape and ready to handle the added load with no critical load situations expected. However, anything mechanical or electrical can fail, and EMEPA is prepared with employees on standby and equipment and materials on hand to repair any damage to the system, the release said.

    “Power outages due to extreme winter weather conditions are unpleasant and dangerous, but we have knowledgeable and experienced employees working diligently to prevent outages and restore power in such situations,” said EMEPA General Manager Wayne Henson in the release.

    The release said extreme winter conditions also serve as a reminder of the importance of wise energy efficiency habits, such as opening shades during the day to catch heat from the sun, but close shades at night to keep heat in.

    “We encourage members to use the power they need to stay safe and warm, but need what you use,” Henson said.