We're Here to Help
As we all deal with the new realities brought on by the coronavirus, I want to assure you that your local electric cooperative is here to help you. We have always had an Emergency Plan that has served us well in a variety of circumstances, from ice storms to tornadoes to flash floods. Early in this crisis, our staff updated that plan with a special emphasis on ensuring we can continue to provide the reliable electric service you have come to expect from your electric cooperative.
So far, that is exactly what has happened. We know that after a sufficient supply of food and water, electricity is the No. 1 thing you need to maintain some sense of normalcy as we hunker down in our homes. With that in mind, keeping the power flowing is Job 1 for everyone involved in maintaining the electric cooperative system.
That starts with our generation cooperative, Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, which has taken extreme measures to ensure its workforce is healthy and its power plants are functioning as needed. It extends to the sixteen cooperatives that distribute that electricity across the Texas panhandle, South Plains and Edwards Plateau regions of Texas, into the Oklahoma Panhandle, Southwest Kansas and Southern Colorado, and it includes Deaf Smith Electric Cooperative, where business may be a bit unusual, but our service remains the same.
We thought you might want to know some of the steps we have taken in order to keep your power flowing. As you know, we’ve closed our lobby to prevent the spread of germs. Instead, we are encouraging members to use our temporary downtown Hereford drive-through location, our headquarters drop box, our online and phone payment options and the “good old” U.S. Postal Service to pay bills.
If you call, the phones will be answered as always. We have separated our line crews from other employees and even from each other to limit possible spread of the virus. New routines are in place, including masks for employees that must ride in the same truck and routine cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. We are working on a plan to locate a tube-type drive-up solution at our headquarters building, much akin to a bank. We are also working to place additional protections in the office to further prevent the spread of germs in hopes of opening our lobby again very soon. These measures will allow for us to continue to serve our members in the event of a resurgence or simply make it more convenient for us to serve you into the future.
Our management team and board are communicating constantly to fine-tune this plan. We are in constant contact with the other electric cooperatives in Texas and with the Texas Electric Cooperative statewide association, which in turn is working closely with our national association, the state legislature, Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
So far, it is working well, and everyone has adapted to the new norm. That’s because we’ve done adversity before. Nothing brings out the best in our employees better than a crisis situation. It’s kind of like gold that has been tested in fire…stronger and more beautiful!
Our focus here is on doing our part to keep your life as normal as possible through this situation and beyond. The cooperative way of doing business has brought us this far, and the cooperative way will help us through this crisis.
All the best to everyone. Stay healthy, stay home when you can, and we will get through this together the cooperative way!