For some of us, summer marks a time for rest and relaxation. The weather is warm, children are out of school, and families are road-tripping to their next memorable vacation. But for others, particularly those in coastal states like Florida, Texas, and Louisiana, the summer indicates the start of hurricane season. On the heels of an active 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, experts are again predicting an “above-average” 2022 season, which officially runs from June through November.
While residents in stormy states have plenty on their plates, preparation activities are amplified for utilities. Today, we’ll look closer at what utilities should be doing to prepare for hurricane season. We will also highlight a few of the top ways field service management software from EnSight+ can help with both planning and execution.
When it comes to hurricane season, prevention typically focuses first on counteracting sustained disruptions of service, then on restoring disrupted service. To do that, there are a few things that should take place regularly throughout the year, but especially before and during hurricane season.
For example, critical electric and gas system infrastructure should be thoroughly inspected and serviced. If an inspection reveals problems with one or more of those assets, it makes sense to expedite repairs. This way, your utility won’t be caught flat-footed if a hurricane does make landfall.
Vegetation management is another year-round task that gains importance ahead of hurricane season. Preemptively trimming foliage and tree limbs could be the difference between vegetation debris causing a power outage or obstructing roads during a storm.
Lastly, it’s best practice to confirm that any tools, parts, or materials needed for repairs during or after a storm are readily available to technicians. Taking the time to review stock levels is a simple and effective measure for reducing stress and increasing proactivity in the event of a hurricane.
If your utility service area has a hurricane season, it’s not a matter of if; it’s when you will have to deal with a storm. In fact, chances are you already have. This means you know the importance of smooth, effective disaster response planning and execution.
As a comprehensive field service software solution, EnSight+ helps utilities to drive efficiencies and reliability 24/7. Our work order management module with automated scheduling can help utilities ensure they remain on top of vegetation management year-round. EnSight+ inventory management controls key stock levels and keeps track of tools, vehicles, and other assets, hurricane season or not.
In the event a storm does cause a service disruption, our system employs GPS-enabled mobile devices to help dispatchers locate technicians closest to the outage area. Drivers receive turn-by-turn directions along the most direct path, that intelligently adjusts based on travel conditions. That streamlined dispatch and emergency call response means repairs and service restoration proceeds quickly, keeping customers satisfied.
Best of all, the EnSight+ platform is based in the cloud. This means employees have access to the system and communication with the back office, regardless of location. As a result, back-office management has real-time visibility into how technicians are progressing with critical restoration tasks.
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