Manager’s Message — March 2022

Take Boy Scouts’ Rule to Heart

Ned Ratterman headshot“Be prepared” is not just something taught by the Boy Scouts as brand recognition. It’s a smart philosophy for all of us to live by. Fortunately, you are not alone when it comes to being well-positioned to know how to avert certain crises, when an active emergency exists in your area, and how to react when they happen.

Wasco Electric Cooperative (WEC) partners with many entities outside our cooperative, from individuals, businesses, and communities to all forms of governmental agencies. Some of the most important within our network are the emergency management offices within each county. It is reassuring to know we have experts in the field of emergency response to rely on in tense situations and can use these resources to create and execute plans beforehand to prevent or dramatically soften the results of a predicament. As with all considerations within our lives, communication is essential in successful interactions.

When WEC has an outage that may affect many members—or fewer members for extended periods—we strive to communicate this possibility with you in a reasonable timeframe. We all know social media is an incredibly effective way to spread the news, but we cannot communicate exclusively through Facebook or Twitter to relay important information.

You may think we can make phone calls to members when we foresee the need to contact you. This is possible in some cases, but not all. Due to limited phones and communication lines, we are severely limited to the number of calls we can generate at any given time. This is where the counties come to the rescue.

We have emergency management coordinators working for us and are at our service if we ask for their assistance. They can efficiently send mass notifications in cases of severe weather, unexpected road closures, when help is needed to find a missing person or to coordinate evacuations.

Recently, when discussing large-scale member notifications, Wasco County Emergency Management Coordinator Sheridan McClellan reminded us the county is best capable of executing this task. We can, and should, use existing systems to notify members about outage information.

This is made much easier if you sign up for citizen alerts within your county of residence. The process is simple, only taking a minute or two to complete.

First, go to your county’s website and find its emergency management department. Once there, you should be able to find a link to sign up for the free service. Some of the benefits of joining are the flexibility to select multiple addresses, which phone number to use, and whether you prefer emails or texts. In essence, you pick how and where you are notified.

Please consider partnering with WEC and the public servants in the county you call home to provide the most effective means of widespread notification for a range of benefits to you and your neighbors.

Be safe and healthy,

Ned Ratterman
General Manager