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NORTHEAST MISS (WCBI) -With weather forecasts calling for cold temperatures and possible freezing rain coming to the cooperative’s service area Monday evening and throughout Tuesday, 4-County Electric Power Association has begun emergency preparations to deal with any possible weather damage to lines or equipment or service interruption to members.

4-County Manager of Consumer Services Cliff Wall says the cooperative is on alert. “We have crews and vehicles on standby ready to respond and we are watching the weather. If anything happens we will work as quickly as we can and as safely as possible to repair any damage and restore any outages.”

Wall advises that outages associated with an ice storm have the potential to be damaging as the ice has to recede before repairs can be made.

Joe Miller, 4-County’s safety and training coordinator, says there are many safety factors to be aware of. “If we do have an ice event and lines are down, everyone should be very careful. If you see a downed power line, stay away from it and call it in.” Miller also warns that even if the power doesn’t go out, the extreme cold can be dangerous. “People will be trying to keep their homes warm. But they should remember to be safe.”

Miller has these tips:

Don’t use an oven or stove for heat.

Make sure that space heaters are away from clothing or curtains or other flammable items.

Make sure your fireplace or gas or fuel-powered heaters or generators are properly ventilated.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Have an emergency kit with flashlight, matches and candles, drinking water and a portable battery powered radio.

If you have a cell phone, make sure it is fully charged.

Miller encourages everyone to dress as warmly as possible, using layers of loose fitting clothing. And he says to make sure pets have a warm place to stay and to check on elderly and infirm family or neighbors.

For those 4-County customers who wish to report a power outage, call 1-800-431-1544.

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