A cooperative’s ability to respond to natural disasters presents both their greatest challenge, and their greatest opportunity. Ice storms, flooding, hurricanes and tornados are difficult to predict and can devastate wide areas. When they do occur, co-ops are critical front-line responders.
In fact, of all ways co-ops engage with their local community, Touchstone Energy’s National Survey on the Cooperative Differenceshows members place the greatest importance on their co-op preparing for and responding to natural disasters. The data also shows a significant gap between the importance members place on this activity and the level of involvement they perceive from their co-op.
In 2011, Joe Wheeler EMC, located in northern Alabama, was faced with one of the most horrific natural disasters to hit the United States in recent memory. The following chart shows that in the wake of this crisis, members of Joe Wheeler EMC credit their cooperative with outstanding efforts in preparing for and responding to natural disasters.
Click here to read how Joe Wheeler EMC handled the challenge. While you may anticipate a story of policies, procedures and operational excellence, the management and staff of Joe Wheeler EMC reveal how their success is based on something more.