Connie Hogue

Connie Hogue

Director of Human Resources and Safety

Ohioans became familiar with being at home for extended periods of time in 2020. We learned what we need to be safe, healthy, and comfortable at home. As we move in this new year, it is a good time to take inventory of your emergency supplies. Winter storms can bring snow, ice, and extremely cold weather. While they typically do not last more than a week or two, it is important to make sure your family is prepared. Here are a few reminders to keep everyone in your household warm, fed, and safe this winter.

Stay warm

Heavy snow and ice can lead to downed power lines, leaving cooperative members without power. Power outages can be dangerous, especially during extremely low temperatures. Plan to have a safe alternate heating source, such as a fireplace or wood-burning stove during a power outage. These are great options to keep you and your loved ones warm, but there are important safety considerations to remember.

  • Make sure you properly vent all fuel and wood-burning heating sources. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Check your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly.
  • Do not use a gas-powered oven for heating. A gas oven may go out or burn inefficiently, leading to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Do not use a gas or charcoal grill inside the home. Do not use charcoal briquettes in the fireplace.

Stay fed

The CDC recommends having a supply of food and household items to sustain everyone in your household for several days. Consider adding  the following items to your shopping list if you do not already have them at home.

  • Stock your pantry with non-perishable food, such as canned goods, energy bars, peanut butter, powdered milk, instant coffee, water, and other essentials (i.e., diapers and toiletries).
  • Keep five gallons of water per person stored in case of an extended power outage.
  • Confirm that you have adequate sanitation and hygiene supplies including toilet paper, towelettes, soap and hand sanitizer.

Stay safe

An emergency kit should also include tools to help you weather the storm. Organize emergency supplies so they are together in an easily accessible location.

  • Stock your first aid kit with pain relievers, bandages, and other medical essentials.
  • Make sure your prescriptions are current. Include a seven-day supply of medications for you and other family members.
  • Set aside basic household items you will need, including flashlights, batteries, a manual can opener and portable, battery-powered radio or TV.

Winter weather can be unpredictable and dangerous. The Energy Cooperative is ready for what Mother Nature has in store, and we want you to be ready, too. For more winter safety tips, visit

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