The Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative Plans Ahead for Isaac

WEWAHITCHKA, Fla., Aug. 27, 2012 – In anticipation of the potential landfall of Tropical Storm Isaac, Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative employees are keeping a close watch on Isaac’s path in the event the storm impacts its service area.

The National Weather Service predicts Isaac will make landfall along the northern Gulf Coast by early Wednesday as a category 1 or 2 hurricane.

“We will continue to monitor Isaac’s progress, updating employees and the public as needed,” said GCEC CEO/General Manager Michael White. “Our crews are prepared to respond in the event that Isaac impacts our distribution system. We know our members rely on us to keep the power flowing, and we will respond to the storm as soon as safe conditions permit.”

White reminds the public to stay abreast of the storm’s development and take necessary safety precautions. Residents should always avoid downed power lines.

GCEC Manager of Operations Francis Hinson encourages members who are planning to use a portable generator in the event of an extended power outage to follow the below tips on generator safety and operation for their safety, as well as the protection of field personnel:

• Never connect a generator directly to your home’s wiring unless your home has been wired for generator use. This can cause backfeeding along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including lineworkers making repairs.

• Never plug an electric portable generator into a regular household outlet.

• Use proper electrical cords.

• Make sure your generator is properly grounded.

• Carefully read and follow all manufacturer instructions, suggestions and safety precautions.

• Always follow local, state and national fire and electrical codes.

• Always have a fully charged fire extinguisher nearby.

• Never operate indoors — protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning.

• Never fuel a generator while it is operating.

• Know your generator’s capabilities.

• We strongly recommend that a properly licensed electrician install the equipment necessary to safely connect emergency generators.

Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative is part of the Touchstone Energy® national alliance of local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives providing high standards of service to members large and small.

Approximately 75 employees serve more than 20,000 meters and 2,500 miles of line in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Jackson, Walton and Washington counties and in the municipalities of Wewahitchka, Ebro, Lynn Haven, White City, Fountain and Southport.

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