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Water and electricity: a volatile mix


Ensure your family’s safety around spring floodwaters


PRINGTIME in Oklahoma can mean thunderstorms and heavy rain which, in turn, can bring flooding in low-lying areas, homes and basements. Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative reminds everyone to be alert to electrical equipment that could be energized and in contact with water, along with other potential hazards that create a serious danger of electric shock. Cleaning up after a flood and using water-damaged appliances also carry safety risks. NEOEC urges parents and other caregivers to make sure children are aware of these hazards as well. “The prospect of electrical accident is probably not the first thing on your mind when you’re dealing with floodwaters,” said Bret Boyd, Safety Director for NEOEC. “But it’s the first thing you should think of before you step foot in the water.”


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Safety measures to keep in mind include:


• Never step into a flooded basement


Rising floodwaters had Miami residents scrambling for higher ground when the Neosho River left its banks back in the summer of 2007.


or other room if water may be in contact with electrical outlets, appliances or cords. • Never attempt to turn off power at the breaker box if you must stand in water to do so. If you can’t reach your breaker box safely, call your electric utility to shut off power at the meter.


• Never use electric appliances or touch electric wires, switches or fuses when you’re wet or when you’re standing in water.


• Keep electric tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from wet surfaces. Do not use electric yard tools if it’s raining or the ground is wet. • If an electrical appliance has been in contact with water, have a professional check it out before it is used. It may need to be repaired or replaced.


Another excellent safety measure is to have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) professionally installed on outlets,” Boyd said. “These safety devices can cut off power instantly if there’s a problem.”


Boyd said GFCIs are recommended for outdoor outlets, and outlets near wet areas of the home such as kitchen, bath and laundry room. If time does not permit installation before a storm, you can purchase portable GFCIs from a hardware store. Accidents and fires involving electricity result in more than a thousand deaths, and ten thousand injuries each year. Prevention of electricity-related tragedies is a priority at Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative.


Northeast Connection is published monthly as an effective means of communicating news, information and innovative thinking that enhances the profitability and quality of life for members of Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative.


Please direct all editorial inquiries to Communications Specialist Clint Branham at 800-256-6405 ext. 9340 or email clint.branham@neelectric.com.


Vinita headquarters: Four and a half miles east of Vinita on Highway 60/69 at 27039 South 4440 Road.


Grove office: 212 South Main.


Business hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Offices are closed Saturday, Sunday and holidays.


A representative is available 24 hours at: 1-800-256-6405


If you experience an outage, please check your switch or circuit breaker in the house and on the meter pole to be sure the trouble is not on your side of the service. If you contact us to report service issues or discuss your account, please use the name as it appears on your bill, and have both your pole number and account number ready.


Officers and Trustees of NEOEC, Inc. President Dandy Allan Risman


Vice President John L. Myers


Secretary-Treasurer Benny L. Seabourn


Harold W. Robertson Member


Sharron Gay


Member James A. Wade


Member Bill R. Kimbrell Member


Jack Caudill Member


Asst. Secretary-Treasurer Everett L. Johnston


District 5 District 4 District 2 District 3 District 1 District 6 District 7 District 8 District 9


NEOEC Management Team Anthony Due General Manager


Larry Cisneros, P.E.


Manager of Engineering Services Susanne Frost


Manager of Office Services Cindy Hefner


Manager of Public Relations Connie Porter


Manager of Financial Services Rick Shurtz


Manager of OperationsApril 2012


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