We’ve all heard of it, and probably even depended on it before: The luck of the Irish. While some luck might be a perk on St. Patrick’s Day, safety and preparation are key right now. The whole world is keeping an eye on the COVID-19 situation, and San Antonio is no different.
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At this point, the San Antonio community has confirmed a few cases and everyone is trying to figure out what the best next steps are. CPS Energy knows the importance of making sure all customers have electricity and natural gas. The company has been preparing for this kind of pandemic for years.
While the Ebola outbreak in 2014 didn’t have a direct effect on San Antonio, CPS Energy’s leaders knew preparing for the next health event would be a wise investment of time. The company began creating “Health Event Continuity of Operations” plans. Effectively, CPS Energy wanted to have a plan to keep delivering safe, reliable and affordable energy even if a health crisis made its way to San Antonio.
The company even conducted a tabletop exercise in 2018 to walk through what a pandemic might mean for operations and what would need to be done to continue to serve San Antonio.
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As the COVID-19 situation started to unfold, CPS Energy began putting those plans into actions. Our company’s safety professionals started calling meetings and putting prevention measures into place. The company knew it would be critical to start protecting employees early, so they could stay healthy and continue producing and delivering energy to the Greater San Antonio area. It started in January with simple messages to the employees:
- Try fist bumps instead of handshakes
- Wash your hands more often and for at least 20 seconds
Then more steps were added:
- Increased hand sanitizer around the workplace
- Increased cleaning schedule
- More conference calls
These efforts date back to January, before the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared a COVID-19 pandemic. As the number of cases grew, reaching the United States and then Texas, your local gas and electric company took additional steps:
- A cease on all disconnects until further notice
- Eliminated all business travel unless absolutely mission-critical
- Implemented a work-from-home quarantine program for employees who did travel
- Modified hours for the walk-in payment centers
What is next is unclear as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. What is clear is that San Antonio is banding together to beat this pandemic. CPS Energy is no exception. It may be St. Patrick’s Day, but our company isn’t going to rely on luck to get our jobs done and get power to you. We’re going to remain vigilant and keep the lights on for San Antonio – something that may be more precious to our community than that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.