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VIEWPOINT Volume 55, No. 3 December 2012 Good news: Electric cooperatives have resilience BY A N T H O N Y J. A H E R N In my November Viewpoint message, I wrote about the importance of resilience of the human spirit. As I pen this month’s column, many homes and businesses in the Northeast are still without electricity due to Hurricane Sandy’s devastating punch. What came across very clearly during the early days after Sandy were the hardships people endured without electricity. Resilience of the electric grid — and the ability to restore electric service — became a priority issue to a much wider audience when 8.2 million people were without power. Unlike resilience of the human spirit that can possibly lie dormant and unseen until circumstances draw it forth, resilience of the elec- tric grid requires preparation. Your electric cooperative has been busy preparing for when disaster strikes. Cooperatives have pre-established mutual aid agreements that can draw on resources from areas unaffected by local or regional disas- ters. For example, Ohio electric co-op crews stood ready to assist Pennsylvania co-ops in the aftermath of Sandy, while co-ops from the Southeast and Midwest sent help to Virginia and New Jersey to assist those most impacted. Every electric utility, even the largest, when struck by a large-scale disaster can bounce back quicker with assistance from others. Electric cooperatives in the Northeast did not get the brunt of Hurricane Sandy but still used the assistance of nearby electric cooperatives to restore service to their cooperative consumers. Cooperatives also sent crews to assist investor-owned utilities. Line workers from 10 Ohio co-ops rallied to assist FirstEnergy in recon- necting service in the Cleveland area, where the remnants of Sandy caused significant power system damage and outages. The good news is that electric cooperatives have prepared so their systems have resilience. This didn’t happen by coincidence. Ohio cooperatives have applied lessons learned from previous disasters to better respond the next time wind, ice, snow or flooding threat- ens. You could say we are experts in rural power outage restoration, and you’d be right. 2 COUNTRY LIVING • DECEMBER 2012 Contact us: Anthony Ahern Steve Oden Rich Warren John Howley Chris Hall Bernice Mattison Nikki Heath Adam Specht Margie Wuebker Chip Gross Sandy Woolard Tim Dickes President & CEO Dir. of Comm. Managing Editor Editor Art & Prod. Manager Publications Coord. Graphic Artist Comm. Specialist Food Editor Outdoors Editor Advertising Advertising COUNTRY LIVING (ISSN 0747-0592) is the official publication of Ohio Rural Electric Co- operatives, Inc. With a paid circulation of 294,786, it is the monthly communication link between the rural elec tric cooperatives in Ohio and West Virginia and their members. Subscription price: $4.30 to $6.50 per year to co-op members; $12 per year to nonmem- bers. Nothing in this publication may be re- produced in any manner without specific written permission from Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. All rights reserved. National advertising representatives: NATIONAL COUNTRY MARKET, based at 611 S. Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78704 1-800-NCM-1181 The fact that a product is advertised in Country Living should not be taken as an endorsement. If you find an ad- vertisement misleading or a product unsatisfactory, please notify us or the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Section, 30 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215, or call 1-800-282-0515. Cooperative members — Please report any change of address to your local electric cooperative. Periodicals postage paid at Columbus, OH and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to editorial and advertising offices at: 6677 Busch Boulevard Columbus, OH 43229-1101 Telephone — 614-846-5757 Serving on the Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc., Board of Trustees are George Brake, chairman; Dennis W. Schindler, vice chairman; Jack Schmidt, secretary/treasurer; Charles Grimes, Paul Berridge, Thomas McQuiston, Robert McCort, Donald McCracken, Jack L. Kitchel, Daniel McNaull, Robert E. Wise, Shirley J. Stutz, David Corbin, Barry Jolliff, Warren Taylor, James R. McConnell, Eugene Royer, Mitch Headley, John Saxton, Edward P. Sanders, Harold E. Cooper, Larry Weirich, Jeff Wilson and David P. Miller. Anthony J. Ahern, president; Kurt Helfrich, counsel.