From the moment the forecast comes out that bad weather is on the way, Storm Managers are working hard to assemble their team a put together a plan with one ultimate goal – to maintain a continuity of service to their customers.Unfortunately, outages are an eventuality.Minimizing those outages and their duration becomes a key priority.
Storm Managers must keep track of a constantly fluctuating list of assets at his disposal – availability of internal crews, contractor line crews, tree crews, service and support groups, and assessors.These assets need to have access to materials, food, and lodging and they need to be assigned to a company liaison.The outage reports need to be organized, prioritized, assigned, and regularly updated.
In many cases, utility company employees are re-assigned from their regular duties to perform damage assessments.These people are well-trained and highly skilled in their regular work.They are engineers, substation technicians, and meter readers.They are readily available and will do what they can.But they are not linemen.They do not have the training, knowledge, or experience necessary to give the Storm Manager the information needed to best prioritize the work and deploy available assets.
Damage reports are too often inaccurate, incomplete, or over-manned.These unqualified assessments come at a cost.Many times, a line crew will show up to a job only to discover that the location is off, or the leaning pole is actually broken, or the crossarm is split and needs to be replaced, or any number of inaccuracies in the report.This requires the crew to reassess the situation and send back to the service center for the correct material.At other times, circuits are not thoroughly patrolled, especially when they go away from roads or over steep terrain.When line crews are given incomplete reports, they must patrol these lines themselves.The assessment is performed once by one or two people, but then must be done again by a crew consisting of 4 or more people.These costs aren’t only measured in monetary terms, but also lost time and an extension of the overall restoration process.
Fidelis’ expert assessors offer the solution.We provide the Storm Manager with accurate, complete, and timely damage assessment.We give the location by pole number, grid coordinates, nearest street address, or intersection.We list every damaged component of the line and put together a material list for necessary repairs.We patrol the entire circuit or tap – from open point to meter.We’ll use whatever means necessary to gain access to the line.We have trucks, ATV’s, and camera drones at our disposal.We stay out in front of the line crews so that they’ll be ready to get the job done when they arrive.
Get in touch with us today to let us know how we can help you on your next storm, and please pass along our contact information to your procurement department.We look forward to working with you.