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CO - OP LIVI NG FROM THE EDITOR It’s all about the light


Anna Politano Managing Editor, Oklahoma Living


fying” news to share with you! After submit- ting hundreds of photos for the 2012 Oklahoma Living Calendar, our readers have raised $1,200 for the NRECA In-


O


ternational Foundation—a charitable orga- nization affi liated with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, dedicated to bringing electricity to the world, one vil- lage at a time.


Stop for a second now and look around you. How many electric plugs, lights, or appli- ances do you see just where you are right now? The printing plant that ran these pages through the press runs on electricity. If you are reading this page on Oklahoma Living’s digital edition or mo- bile app, you’re using a device that operates through electrical power. Can you imagine your life and the daily tasks you have to per- form without this power? I believe it’s safe to say most of our readers live with comfort and have their basic necessities met, but—truth be told—many of us don’t want to stay without electricity for 30 minutes, let alone a lifetime. Well, to many around the world not having electricity is a way of life.


According to a report produced in part- nership by the United Nations Development Program and the World Health Organization, with support from the International Energy Agency, almost a quarter of the global pop- ulation, or 1.5 billion people, lives without


ur staff has


some “electri-


electricity, 80 percent of them in the least developed countries of South Asia and sub- Saharan Africa.


Established in 1962, NRECA International


If viewing our digital edition, click here for a video on NRECA International Foundation and their work across the Globe. Access our digital edition at www.ok-living.coop


has developed and implemented rural electri- fi cation programs in over 42 countries with generous funding support from the United States Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and oth- er bilateral and multilateral international or- ganizations such as the World Bank, the U.K. Department for International Development, Asian Development Bank and host country government agencies. These programs have resulted in increased agricultural productivi- ty, millions of new jobs in micro and small en- terprises, and higher incomes and better qual- ity of life for more than 100 million people. Through the years, NRECA International has provided access to safe, reliable, and af- fordable electricity in more than 40 develop- ing countries. It has designed, construct- ed, and operated hun- dreds of rural electric utilities while build- ing local institutional capacity—including


the training of personnel—to own and man- age them.


Download our free app or access our digi- tal edition at www.ok-living.coop to watch a video that showcases the volunteer work of many U.S. linemen, engineers and adminis- trative staff who have donated their time and given of their hearts to help villages around the world that were in the dark.


And, pat yourself on the back—your sup- port and contributions to Oklahoma Living’s 2012 Calendar Contest will be used to help a family or a business owner enjoy LIGHT! Thank you for your support and for letting your light shine! OL


Ask Willie!


To submit a question for Willie, visit www.ok-living.coop. Dear Willie,


My heart goes out to those affected by tornadoes in Oklahoma this past month. I know tornadoes and other severe storms themselves can be dangerous; but I am curious, what are the hazards after a severe storm has passed?


Sincerely,


-Weathering the Storm Dear Weathering,


Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and fl ooding can certainly leave hidden dan- gers. In some cases, more lives are lost after the storm than from the storm itself. Be mindful of a possible electrical accident before you go outside, step foot into a fl ooded area, or enter a storm-damaged building. Stay away from downed power lines, and be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard. Treat all downed or hanging power lines as if they are energized. Warn others to stay away, and con- tact your electric cooperative. Make sure children are also aware of these hazards. Other precautions follow- ing storms:


✓ Never drive over a downed line, as it could pull down poles and other items along its path. If you come upon a downed power line, stay in your vehicle, warn others, and contact emergency personnel or your co-op.


✓ Before re-entering storm-damaged buildings or rooms, be sure all electric and gas services are turned off.


✓ Never attempt to turn off power at the breaker box if you must stand in water to do so. If you cannot reach your breaker box safely, call your cooperative to shut off power at the meter.


✓ Be alert to any electrical equipment that could be en- ergized and in contact with water. Never touch electrical appliances, cords, or wires while you are wet or standing in water.


✓ If you use a portable generator, be sure a transfer safety switch has been installed, or connect appliances directly to the generator. This prevents electricity from traveling back through the home to power lines, which create danger for anyone near lines, particularly crews working to restore power. OL


Safely yours, Willie


For more information, visit http://SafeElectricity.org MAY 2012 5


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