5:45PM March 19, 2020
Hello. Thank you for interest in the cooperative's actions related to COVID-19. Please scroll down to view past and present information. We appreciate your concern as we continue to monitor the pandemic and take necessary steps to help protect Team SEMO, while we continue to work to make people's lives better with electricity and fiber. For more updates, visit https://semoec.coopwebbuilder3.com/coronavirus-update
Here are a few frequently asked questions and answers:
Are you prepared for this situation? Yes. Protecting the energy grid and ensuring a safe and reliable supply of electricity and fiber-fast services are the top priorities for SEMO Electric and GoSEMO Fiber. In order to do this, SEMO Electric is focusing on the need to ensure that their employees and their families are healthy and safe. In the normal course of our operation, we face many situations such as ice storms, tornadoes, vehicle crashes and flash flooding that affect power supply. We have plans in place to deal with all of these situations, and these same plans can be used to ensure we continue to provide you with the service you expect during this situation.
Will we lose power because of the virus? No negative impacts to delivery of electricity or fiber services have occurred or are expected due to this pandemic. SEMO Electric continues to take all appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, protect employees and safeguard the electric and fiber systems. Our combined efforts from all facets of our three-tiered generation, transmission and distribution system will ensure the reliable delivery of electricity that members expect.
Why are your fiber offices closed? This is not only for your safety but for the safety and well-being of Team SEMO. While we have plans in place to continue providing reliable electric service and fiber fast services, we have several ways to help limit the potential spread of coronavirus. On March 12, GoSEMO’s Fiber offices were closed due to lack of protective barrier for member and employees. GoSEMO Fiber subscriber care is still available by calling 877-430-5418 option. We strongly encourage all members to instead use one of the many convenient options we offer to make a payment or contact us gosemo.com, 800-813-5230 or log in to SmartHub app.
When will the fiber offices reopen? We will reopen the fiber offices as soon as we can safely do so. We know this temporary change may create additional difficulties for members and we appreciate their patience as we navigate this difficult situation. GoSEMO Fiber will continue to enroll members online at GoSEMOfiber.com and by calling 877-430-5418 option 3.
Has anyone at your office become infected? No. At this time no one on our staff has become infected with the virus. We continue to do everything possible to ensure they stay healthy. Your assistance is appreciated.
What will you do if all of your employees get sick? While we are doing everything in our power to ensure Team SEMO stays healthy, we have contingency plans should some of our staff become sick. Missouri’s electric cooperatives have a Mutual Assistance Plan in place that can quickly bring in workers from other electric cooperatives should the need arise. This plan has worked well when we have been hit by major storms. It will also help us during this crisis. In addition, we have a strong working relationship with a number of electrical contractors that can be added to our work force if needed.
Will you be disconnecting members during this crisis? We are working individually with residential and small commercial members to prevent disconnection of services for nonpayment until further notice to provide relief for the communities we serve that have been impacted by COVID-19. However, members will remain responsible for the amount due on their accounts as well as billing associated with ongoing usage. Members are encouraged to continue to make payments as applicable on their accounts.
Will your crews continue to respond to outages? Yes. Crews will continue to respond to outage calls to ensure electric and fiber services remain available to members. We ask that members of the public maintain a safe distance from crews working in the field in order to minimize their exposure.
Where can I get more information about this virus? The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) activated a statewide public hotline for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. That number is 877-435-8411. The hotline is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What else do we need to know? This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will address the challenges as they occur. But know that, in the face of any difficulty, we are here to keep the lights on and the fiber flowing. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.