Rural Missouri - February 2013 - (Page 4)
C O M M E N T S
“Devoted to the rural
way of life”
Volume 65 / Number 2
Jim McCarty, editor
Jason Jenkins, managing editor
Heather Berry, associate editor
Kyle Spradley, field editor
Megan Schibi, editorial assistant
Mary Davis, production manager
Co-op page designers
USPS 473-000 ISSN 0164-8578
Copyright 2013, Association of Missouri Electric
Cooperatives. Call for reprint rights.
photo by Jim McCarty
The Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives will be better prepared to help its member systems recover from disasters once
this generator installation is complete. The generator will provide back-up power should the association lose power in a storm.
Preparing for storms
Mutual aid program moves ahead with new generator
ardly a year goes by that does not see one of Missouri’s electric cooperatives battered by Mother
Nature’s wrath. When that happens, help is just
a phone call to the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives away. Soon the statewide association will
have a new tool to help assist those electric cooperatives
that find themselves in harm’s way.
In January, workers set in place a diesel-powered generator with enough capacity to power the association’s
headquarters in Jefferson City in the event the capital city
is part of the area in a storm’s path. The new generator was
made possible by the board of directors and Manager Chris
Hamon at White River Valley Electric Cooperative based in
When White River Valley built a new headquarters
building starting in 2009, the emergency generator
designed to power the old headquarters proved too
small for the new building. Instead of selling the old
power plant, the cooperative offered it to the statewide
association, remembering the assistance provided to them
during the ice storm of 2009 and other occasions.
But what was too small for White River Valley’s
headquarters was too large for the statewide association.
At the suggestion of the AMEC Executive Committee,
employees explored the option of selling the old generator
and using the money to buy a new one that was better
designed to meet the association’s needs.
White River Valley was OK with this strategy, and
that’s what was done. When the generator installation is
complete, it will provide backup electricity to power the
association’s communications systems, provide heat and
other necessary resources.
Missouri’s electric cooperatives have provided a
coordinated mutual aid program since 1948 when the plan
was adopted at a board meeting of what was then called
the Missouri State Rural Electrification Association.
Just one month later, in January 1949, the plan was
tested for the first time.
Ironically, Boone Electric Cooperative, whose Manager
R.J. Martin first suggested the program, was the first to call
for help as freezing rain fell across the state for three days.
Farmers’ Electric in Chillicothe responded with three men
and one truck.
These days, the emergency assistance program works
like a well-oiled machine. Employees in the association’s
Risk Management and Training Department watch the
weather and determine which electric cooperatives could
be affected by stormy weather. (See page 12 to read about a
new tool that helps make this determination.)
Those electric co-ops that are not affected are alerted
to have crews and equipment ready. Once the damage is
assessed, a call to the association puts the wheels in motion
that can result in an army of assistance sent into the fray.
There’s one final step that takes place after the damage
has been repaired. Systems involved in the repair effort
meet to discuss what took place and how the mutual
assistance program can be improved.
Over the years, this program has helped repair damage
caused by ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods.
Crews from Missouri have helped their counterparts in
the Gulf States and have been the recipient of the same
assistance when we were the ones needing help. They’ve
also gone to the cities to help restore power.
No matter what caused the damage, or how bad it
is, two common denominators can be found: Electric
cooperative employees will rise to the occasion and do
whatever it takes to get power restored. And those electric
cooperatives with damage will never be alone.
Rural Missouri is published monthly by the
Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.
Barry Hart, executive vice president. Individual
subscription rate: $10 per year or $22 for three
years, taxes and postage included. Group rate
for members of participating RECs $4.20, taxes
and postage included. Delivery as specified by
subscriber. If not specified, delivery will be by
periodical class mail at subscriber’s expense.
Periodical Class postage paid at Jefferson City,
MO, and additional mailing offices.
P.O. Box 1645
Jefferson City, MO 65102
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Rural Missouri, P.O. Box 1645,
Jefferson City, MO 65102.
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local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Rural Missouri.
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in Rural Missouri is accepted on the premise
that the merchandise and services offered are
accurately described and sold to customers at
the advertised price. Rural Missouri and Missouri’s electric cooperatives do not endorse any
products or services advertised herein. Advertising that does not conform to these standards or
that is deceptive or misleading is never knowingly accepted by this publication.
National Advertising Representative:
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - February 2013
Rural Missouri - February 2013
Table of Contents
A lasting tribute
Preparing for the worst
Out of the Way Eats
Our history with Missouri’s future leaders
Hearth and Home
The cowboy way of life
Rural Missouri - February 2013