Storms can wreak havoc with the nation's electrical system. Although power plants can be relatively safe from harm, poles and lines are fair game. A major storm can take down power lines, adversely affecting any number of people. Utility teams can usually replace one transmission line in no time with little effort. However, storm damage can tear down all the service lines in any given area. Thousands of customers experiencing power outages after a storm is not an ideal situation.
Utility companies must activate their storm response plans to help the largest number of customers as fast as possible. A restoration effort typically involves crews driving around making damage assessments and repairing poles, lines, and other equipment. What sounds like a simple job can become complex fast depending on the severity of the storm damage. Even with the mutual assistance of outside agencies, utility teams can struggle to restore power.
This article explores how utility companies can restore power quickly after a severe storm.
Improve Staging Areas
Staging areas are where storm response teams rest, meet, and store their equipment and materials. Utility companies that know how to stage for a storm can get a better handle on their resources and efficiently mobilize to restore service. Organization can be useful during a chaotic crisis. It keeps everyone on track as they rush to reconnect affected communities with the rest of their lives.
Improving staging areas requires planning to obtain sufficient space. Cramming a lot of bodies and equipment into a tiny space does not do much to alleviate a stressful situation. Managers must identify spaces for lodging, meeting spaces, and vehicle parking. They should also figure out logistics like how vehicles will come and go. Each piece of a staging area must fit with one another to ensure efficiency.
Coordinate Each Aspect of Storm Recovery
Planning a staging area is just one-way utility companies can restore power quickly. To expedite their efforts, they must coordinate all of the moving parts of utility restoration. Equipment, meals, lodging, and more must click into place to not create any confusing complications. As such, utility companies must be able to schedule everything on the fly. Planning ahead of time can help them follow protocols that keep every aspect moving in harmony with one another.
Miscommunication can delay a routine utility project. For example, a utility manager who does not tell his team when power poles are supposed to arrive at a job site can result in his team not being available to receive the poles, delaying the project. Utility companies that want to restore power quickly can not afford to have any lapses of communication. Every involved party should know who to contact for specific information so they remain updated and knowledgeable. Communication lines flow both ways. Everyone working to restore power must frequently inform one another about the project's status and have access to that information.
Follow Safety Guidelines
There is no good time for utility teams to not practice the best safety methods. The aftermath of a storm is possibly the absolute worst time to throw caution to the wind. Utility companies should know how to maintain safety during the utility restoration process.
They can do so by having the most up-to-date weather information to determine when they can and can not mobilize. Making workers go out in severe weather can result in injuries or death. Keeping teams safe is paramount to reducing liability risk and increasing restoration times.
Communication also plays a role in maintaining safety. Placing everyone on the same page can reduce misunderstandings that could jeopardize worker safety. Of course, determining who is responsible for relaying information should be done ahead of a storm.
Training utility teams help teach them what they can expect during and after a storm. When they already know how to respond to an emergency, they can avoid mistakes that place themselves and others at risk. Utility teams should also know how to adapt to sudden changes. Since most weather events are unpredictable, restoration plans can change on the fly. Being able to follow safety guidelines in any situation ensures no one gets hurt as they work to reconnect the public to the rest of the world.
Look for the Right Storm Response Solution
Having the right assistance on hand can make any storm recovery job easier. For example, if a storm downs power poles, utility companies must sweep in, remove the old poles, bring in new ones, and install them. They must plan on contacting a utility hauling company that is well-equipped to handle the job with few to no complications. Utility companies need the right storm response solution for any possible problem.
Partner with Blackwood Resources
If you're tasked with coordinating recovery efforts, especially the replacement of damaged or downed power poles, then you will probably have to worry about estimated restoration times and how you will reconnect the greatest number of customers promptly. The last thing you should worry about is how you will get new poles to each job site.
Blackwood Resources can all but eliminate that particular concern. Experts should be the only ones to transport utility poles, especially during a crisis. Utility managers who take on the job themselves are only adding to their burdens. Having one less thing to do can help them focus on other responsibilities.
Our trucks have attached grapples that allow us to safely and easily load and unload wood, steel, and concrete poles. Our skilled drivers can operate them wherever your job site is. You can confidently fulfill your customers' expectations without sacrificing safety and quality.
The utility company that restores power quickly has planned ahead of time. Contact us now so we can be by your side when you need us.