This month marks an anniversary you may not want to celebrate.
For those very new to Kentucky, a year ago the worst ice storm in state history knocked out power to one of three Kentuckians, some for weeks.
While we donï¿½t want to relive those cold, dark days, we know a disaster like that teaches lessons worth remembering.
The Kentucky Public Service Commission reviewed the ice storm as well as the September 2008 wind storm that toppled electric poles in large parts of the state, in a 168-page report titled Ike and Ice. The first part of the title comes from the hurricane that sent the windstorm.
The report covers a lot of thoughtful recommendations for easing some of the problems of this pair of natural disasters. Utilities in the state will be studying those suggestions and Kentucky Living will be reporting on that analysis.
But a couple of recommendations are worth mentioning now.
One is addressed to you: be careful.
The ice storm was blamed for 36 deaths, about a third of those from improper use of portable generators. The PSC urged Kentuckians to know and follow rules for safe operation of generators, to have flashlights and battery-powered radios, to store water and food, and to have emergency phone service plans.
Praise for co-op conference calls
The report also gave good marks to the role of the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives. In addition to publishing Kentucky Living, KAEC provides several functions and services for Kentuckyï¿½s 26 electric co-ops.
In the case of the ice storm, the PSC report says, ï¿½KAEC serves in a type of clearinghouse role concerning manpower needs for Kentucky cooperatives during storm restoration efforts and other emergencies. This is positive for all Kentucky cooperatives, because it helps to avoid duplication of effort, helps to prioritize needs, and assists with limiting confusion and/or improper coordination. Immediately following the 2009 ice storm, KAEC organized and held daily statewide conference calls for all Kentucky cooperatives (that) were very beneficial to cooperatives.ï¿½