Talking About PE's Generation

Published 3:05 pm Tuesday, July 31, 2012

An emergency shelter that doesn't have a generator sufficient to provide necessary electrical power to that building is not really an emergency shelter.

It's just a building where people can go and sit around in the dark.

Which they can do in the privacy of their own homes.

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This summer's derecho highlighted Prince Edward County's need to supply its county-wide emergency shelter at the middle school with a suitable generator, as well as the county's volunteer fire departments for their firehouses.

The Board of Supervisors and County officials discussed those needs at the Board's July meeting. Now it's time to herd those words and corral the necessary generators.

The County's administrative staff is investigating possible grant opportunities. The Town of Farmville, after all, successfully landed a generator on wheels, which the Town has loaned to Prince Edward County in the past. Credit to the Town for doing so, but Prince Edward County must not rely on the Town giving up its own generator because in a grave emergency the Town and County will both need emergency generation. The firehouses, again, should also be equipped, given their locations throughout Prince Edward County, with generators powerful enough to thoroughly supply their buildings-12 KW generators for 75 KW needs isn't even half-baked.

The Board of Supervisors does seem to appreciate the gravity of the situation. What remains is diligent follow-through before the next emergency poses questions the County cannot answer and leaves the community in something worse than the dark.