Harvey, Irma, Maria—the 2017 hurricane season was one to remember. Now that the 2018 season is here through Nov. 30, your electric co-op doesn't have to go it alone. NRECA has a wealth of communication resources to help you—and, in turn, your members—before, during and after a storm.

1. Be Prepared

It's the Boy Scouts' motto for a good reason: It makes sense. While hurricane season began June 1, it's never too late to encourage members to be ready—and to make sure you're ready. Straight Talk's Storm Safety and Outage Restoration section has customizable resources to help your co-op communicate with members about smart storm preparedness and to explain the power restoration process after a storm. You'll find sample articles, graphics and videos. For help with Straight Talk resources, contact Abby Berry at abby.berry@nreca.coop or 703-907-5711.

2. Learn From the Best

Cooperation Among Cooperatives is co-op principle No. 6, and a fine example of that is NRECA's Spotlight on Excellence Awards, presented annually by the Council of Rural Electric Communicators. Cooperative.com has a database of winning entries, which is an excellent resource for discovering best practices on a wealth of topics relevant to co-ops, including outage communications. It includes this crisis-level outage digital communications strategy from Crawford Electric Cooperative in Bourbon, Missouri.

3. Call Us

If your co-op's service territory is hit by a storm, NRECA's Media and Public Relations team stands ready to offer communications assistance. In the past that's included drafting talking points, supporting co-op media outreach efforts, triaging media inquiries, offering social media guidance and more. The team also works to provide co-op storm recovery updates to national media outlets covering the storm. For external communications support and assistance during a hurricane, please contact Stephen Bell, NRECA's director of media and public relations, at 571-205-7719.

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