Baldwin EMC staff and employees are busy today preparing for the arrival of Tropical Storm Ida, as she moves toward the Gulf Coast.
“We have a disaster emergency plan in place,” said cooperative spokesperson Mark Ingram. “We have fine-tuned our disaster plan so we can be ready to respond within a matter of hours after a storm hits and begin restoring power as safely and quickly as possible. We want to assure our members we are prepared should Tropical Storm Ida reach our service area.”
According to Ingram, Baldwin EMC officials are monitoring the storm around the clock and all crews are on emergency storm alert status. They urge members whose medical conditions require electricity to make alternate plans for their healthcare needs in the event outages are experienced.
Baldwin EMC has taken all standard precautionary measures, and their emergency preparedness team has confirmed that all preliminary requirements for storm preparation have been met. They have additional supplies stocked such as poles, transformers, wire, and other needed equipment.
Baldwin EMC staff will continue to watch this storm closely and would like to remind their members to keep abreast of the storm’s development and take safety precautions in the event Tropical Storm Ida affects Baldwin County.
Additionally, the cooperative offers these tips for safety during power outages:
- As the storm approaches, Baldwin EMC crews will continue to provide restoration service until weather conditions require them to stop for safety reasons.
- Discuss your plans with your family now, as Baldwin EMC can’t guarantee service to anyone after a major outage event.
- Members who depend on electric-powered healthcare equipment should immediately seek alternative shelter or obtain a backup source of power for their equipment. While Baldwin EMC is committed to restoring power as quickly and safely as possible, it cannot guarantee uninterrupted service.
- Members can expect to experience flickering lights as wind speed increases with the storm’s arrival. Sustained outages may begin early during the storm’s onset. Restoration efforts will begin when it is safe for crews to return to the field.
- If you use a generator, keep it outside. Using generators inside can have tragic consequences. Fumes produced can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators should only be used in well-ventilated areas outside the home. In addition, never add fuel while a generator is running. Turn it off and let it cool first. Do not connect a portable generator to your home’s wiring. Connect it only to appliances, and only use approved properly sized power cords.
- Stay away from fallen power lines. Assume that any line is conducting electricity. During the storm, call Baldwin EMC ONLY to report an emergency, such as downed, sparking power lines.
- Baldwin EMC will begin damage assessment immediately following the storm, including, if necessary, seeking help from other cooperatives.
- Information about restoration efforts will be provided as soon as it is available. Again, call Baldwin EMC only to report emergencies.
- Members who need to make any updates to their account, like adding a mobile number for outage texting, should do so before 6 p.m. on Friday so the cooperative’s member service representatives can assist them.
Following a storm, remain indoors until the “all clear” notice is given by the emergency management system or your local law enforcement.
To report a power outage to Baldwin EMC:
- Call 251-989-6247 or 800-837-3374.
- Go online at www.baldwinemc.com/outage-center, click the interactive outage map, and log in using your Facebook account.
- Text “Outage” to 85700 and select the address where the outage is located. To opt in for outage texting, text “Baldwin” to 85700.
For the most up-to-date outage information, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/BaldwinEMC/), Instagram (instagram.com/baldwinemc) and Twitter (twitter.com/baldwinemc) or visit www.baldwinemc.com.