By Ann Thelen
Developing a monthly magazine requires planning and determining editorial content many weeks in advance. We work to stay nimble with content so that we can share contemporary articles about how Iowa’s electric cooperatives are supporting their communities.
When we went to press with this April issue, cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) were rapidly increasing across the U.S. Life as we knew it was changing with schools, churches, businesses and events all shutting down. These are uncertain times. Rest assured, however, your local electric cooperative remains vigilant in its mission to serve you with safe and reliable power.
Always planning for ongoing, reliable service
Planning for challenging times – whether it’s for potential major outages due to a severe storm or an unprecedented pandemic – is a core responsibility your co-op takes seriously. Behind the scenes, your cooperative is always hard at work, implementing its business continuity plans to deliver electricity to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Co-ops have disaster plans and regularly conduct drills and exercises to test them. In doing so, modifications can be made before a crisis hits, which makes your co-op stronger. Education is a core cooperative principle, and your co-op’s directors and employees participate in training opportunities throughout the year to prepare for tough situations.
As COVID-19 impacts more areas, your cooperative continues to work with local, state and federal agencies to coordinate responses. In addition, electric cooperatives nationwide collaborate to share best practices, resources and strategies to fulfill the mission of powering the needs of your daily life.
Stay connected with your co-op
Across Iowa, some electric cooperatives have postponed their annual meetings or implemented alternative methods to fulfill meeting requirements. To minimize the spread of COVID-19, your co-op may be closed to outside visitors. Many co-ops offer online bill payment, payment by phone, payment drop-off boxes and other services to help you effectively navigate these days of social distancing. Please follow your local electric cooperative on social media, visit its website and always reach out to them by phone or email with any concerns.
We know there are many trusted resources for you to receive up-to-date information about COVID-19, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Iowa’s Department of Health. Therefore, we maintained our plans for this issue to focus on an important aspect of environmental responsibility.
Inside the April issue of Living with Energy in Iowa, you’ll find tips and information about planting and growing things that help the air or precious species to thrive. Getting our hands in the dirt, in the comfort and security of our yards, can be therapeutic for the mind and soul. That’s something we can all benefit from in the coming weeks.
Ann Thelen is the editor of Living with Energy in Iowa.