It's Hurricane Season, and that means we have to be on our toes, looking out for that big storm that may pass through the Acadiana area. Not only do we have to stay prepared, but utility companies have to stay on the ready as well.

So, how does Slemco prepare for Hurricane Season, leading up to it and when a storm is bearing down on us? Spokesperson Mary Laurent gives us some insight:

One of the things that we do all year long is we make sure that we upgrade our infrastructure to make sure it is as sturdy and strong as it can possibly be so that when we do have anything from hurricanes to tornadoes to bad thunderstorms that it is as strong as it can be to withstand any kind of weather. However, with a hurricane that is bearing down on us directly, there is going to be times when there are going to be outages and there is nothing we can do to prevent that. So, we make sure that we have on standby adequate poles and transformers and equipment that we will need to restore power as soon as possible after a storm comes through. Then, once we know what the weather service tells us, that a storm is imminent and it's going to be heading our way, we have a checklist of how we go on ahead...everything from 5 days before to 4 days before, things that we do each time a storm is projected to hit here...We have had a lot of practice (with all the recent storms) and we did it again last year with Isaac. We go through the checklist. We make sure everybody is on alert. We make sure everybody knows who's going to stay here through the storm, who's going to be here after that first shift and on and on until all the power is restored to everyone. So, it's actively going on all year long. We prepare. We practice. And then we put into place any kind of emergency disaster program that we need to do.

Laurent also points out that on they provide updates on what kind of power outages they have and then, as they start restoring power, they provide those updates.

On thing we stress is, again, we are here through the storm. But, if we have 100,000 customers, which we do, and we only have 100 or so phone lines, it's going to be hard to get in. So, we suggest that people make sure they access that website, if at all possible, so that they can stay connected, if you will, with us as we progress through restoration of power.

You can also check out their Hurricane Preparedness Guide for tips on ways you can be as prepared as possible, including the best way to use emergency generators. And, Laurent points out, you can step into the Kids Energy Zone, where your children can learn how to conserve energy and safety tips.

Safety is our number one goal and we're going to make sure that our workers and our consumers are as safe as possible during the entire restoration process.

You can listen to Mary Laurent's interview on "Your Afternoon Drive Home" by CLICKING BELOW:

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