Once the outage is reported the crew is called. The crew gets an idea of what type of problem they have by the people calling in. If only one person calls the crew heads for that place because it probably is an individual outage, if more people are calling in they are looking for something different and if we are getting lots of calls from many different locations they know that there may be a problem at the sub station. So never hesitate to call in and report an outage.
In the event of a storm the Woodbury County REC implements its disaster plan. Having a specific plan to handle major emergencies allows your REC to get electric service restored to the most members in as short a time as possible. Following the plan on the diagram, the linemen will start at number 1, the substation. If there is no power coming from the substation, there won’t be power anywhere else. The next step in the plan is to get number 2, the main arteries (three phase lines) up and running. Once the three phase lines are clear, house 3 and business 4 will have electricity. Next would be the single phase line 5. When that line is clear, house 7 and building 6 will have service restored. Once the single phase line is cleared the linemen can concentrate on individual services like house 8 and get them restored.
If it is determined that the Woodbury County REC’s crews can’t restore service without a prolonged outage, the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives (IAEC) in Des Moines is called requesting help. A call would then go out to other REC’s not affected by the storm and those REC’s would send help.