How Hurricanes Impact Utility Companies
Eric Silagy, CEO of Florida Power and Light, probably dislikes hurricane season just as much as any Florida resident. All it takes is one severe weather event to play havoc with his company's electricity system, causing power outages for thousands of customers.
Whether it was Superstorm Sandy or Hurricane Ian, hurricanes can impact utility companies and their customers. Wind and fallen trees can knock down power lines and poles, cutting electricity to the affected service territory. Hurricane season typically runs throughout the hot Florida summer. Without electricity, residents can not keep cool. They must endure sweltering conditions until their utility company restores power. Dealing with the heat on top of a hurricane's devastation can be a nightmare.
However, not all impacts are negative. Utility companies must prepare for extreme weather to quickly restore power to their customers. Their preparation and storm response efforts might involve more planning from the outset but their work can relieve burdened customers during a critical storm.
Planning is Vital
The threat of hurricanes should drive the importance of proper planning. When a storm response team knows what needs to be done and the best way to do it, they can get power back up quicker than if they have a vague idea to go on.
Utility companies must respond to storm damage as quickly as possible. Their customers are probably already miserable having faced a dangerous storm. A lack of electricity only adds to their woes. They will not be able to keep cool during a warm hurricane season. They will not be able to cook. They will not be able to watch a movie to keep their minds off their immediate problems. Restoration efforts must be efficient and prompt.
A typical storm response involves utility crews assessing damage to lines, poles, and other equipment and then repairing or replacing affected items. It might sound easy but if the storm damage is severe enough, crews might not be able to reach the areas they need to be.
Utility companies must properly stage an area where their storm response teams rest and coordinate their work. This area also stores their equipment and materials. Staying organized during a crisis can be difficult. Having a staging area planned out ahead of time can keep restoration efforts on track regardless of a hurricane's severity.
Communication is vital in nearly every situation. After an emergency, it is essential. Effective communication can let everyone involved in restoration efforts who is responsible for a specific job and when they can activate. Confusion can delay progress, keeping unhappy customers in the dark longer than what is necessary.
Utility companies should meet their customers' needs. However, they should not place their workers in danger no matter the circumstances. A hurricane can prove harmful to the public and storm response teams. Utility companies must know when it is safe to deploy their teams. In turn, their teams must know how to complete their jobs in less-than-ideal conditions. An injury is unfortunate in itself but it can postpone recovery efforts.
Safety comes from training and communication. Practice drills can keep teams sharp when they are needed. Constant communication can keep them out of harm's way.
Utility companies can partner with outside agencies to help restore electricity. For example, teaming up with a self-loading utility hauling company can help transport poles faster and safer, especially during times when the risk of injury is elevated.
Collaborating with a post-storm response solution can help utility companies meet their customer's expectations and prevent further damage. Arrangements must be made well ahead of time to limit any delays.
Blackwood Resources is Your Storm Response Solution
Hurricane season can force utility companies to work harder before and after a storm. From planning to replacing downed lines and poles, their diligence can help affected customers overcome the stress of experiencing a hurricane.
Blackwood Resources is proud to help the utility industry with its storm response efforts. We recently assisted utility companies after Hurricane Ian. As an asset-based company, we own the right equipment to deliver poles and other utility materials to hurricane-ravaged areas. Our drivers can quickly operate our self-loading trucks without the need for additional machinery and workers.
We can transport any type of oversize freight to areas affected by a severe storm. We can also stage multiple self-loading trucks and operators throughout an impact area. We can and, as previously mentioned, have recently done so.
Our safety record demonstrates how seriously we treat each delivery. Even in perfect weather conditions, our drivers maintain stellar safety histories. Our utility industry partners rely on us to not add to their many liability risks. We get in and out thanks to our trucks and seasoned drivers. We work hard to make everyone's jobs and lives easier.
We know how important electricity is to hurricane-stricken people. We also know that utility companies face enormous pressure to restore power. This knowledge compels us to answer any post-storm utility hauling request rapidly and responsibly. We can load, haul, and unload wood, steel, or concrete utility poles for your power restoration projects so you are relieved of one of the many jobs you must tackle. We can also assist you outside of hurricane season. Our services can scale to whatever you need to be done.
The time to decide on a utility hauling company is now. If you wait, your hurricane recovery plan is in danger of falling apart. Include us in your strategy now so you do not have to stumble later. Contact us before the next storm approaches.