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Weathering the Storm - How Utilities Can Prepare for Hurricane Season

Weathering the Storm

Charge your phone, have a first aid kit on hand, have plenty of non-perishable foods, and a safe place to shelter. This is what we typically think of when we hear that hurricane season is upon us, but for those in the utility industry, we have to reexamine our mindsets.


According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2024 is shaping up to be an above-normal season for hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin. This means that utilities along the East Coast must stay informed and be prepared in order to offer the best services possible.


Source: NOAA.gov

Preparation is Key

Utilities traditionally take preparation more seriously than many counterparts; they have reserve inventory, contracts on the ready for sub-contractors to deploy hundreds if not thousands of linemen to disaster zones, and team members rotate storm duty to ensure that all are capable and aware. However, in recent years supply chain challenges, have caused a reduction in personnel to reduce operational costs, and the sheer nature of “too much to do” has created significant challenges to this preparation philosophy. 


These new challenges aren’t simply unique to the utilities, they also impact manufacturers, sales agents, and many others in the space. This is why it is important for manufacturer reps to be active and engaged in their territory to help bridge these gaps where possible and make both parties aware of opportunities to become even more prepared.


Manufacturer reps like NexGen strive to help with this preparation by:

  • Building stronger relationships between manufacturers and customers to develop alliance agreements

  • Ensure proper planning and inventory management


Alliance Agreements

Utilities benefit strongly from establishing alliance agreements, as opposed to agreements for one-time transactions. Alliance agreements allow companies to build relationships and more easily leverage the resources, expertise, and capabilities of their partners - allowing for a holistic and conducive response in the case of an emergency.  


Ensure that there is excellent communication between suppliers and end users to ensure everyone can properly plan for emergency scenarios


Planning

From those alliance agreements, utilities can make sure to maintain proper preparedness for any severe weather events that may come their way. This will allow companies to be stronger and more resistant to outages through improvements and upgrades to the grid. While keeping infrastructure strong and up to date plays a vital role, utilities must be sure to have emergency response plans (or ERPs) in place. Minimizing communication gaps to make quick, risk-informed decisions ensures that customer service will be minimally affected, if at all.


Storm Stock & Inventory Management

Preparing well by investing in infrastructure and resilience measures drives growth opportunities and has the potential to greatly benefit shareholders. Strong preparation allows utility companies to be seen as ideal investments that can withstand and recover from severe weather events.  Managing storm stock requires excellent collaboration and planning with vendors and manufacturer reps to identify creative solutions to have the right kind of inventory available when needed, without overburdening inventory and creating cash crunches. 


Stability and Resilience: Utility companies provide essential services, which are in demand regardless of economic conditions. Companies with resilient infrastructure are better equipped to maintain service during weather events, minimizing revenue losses and ensuring stability for investors.


Predictable Revenue Streams: Utilities typically operate under regulated frameworks that provide predictable revenue streams through long-term contracts or rate structures. Even during times of crisis, utility companies continue to generate revenue from customers, providing a steady income for investors.


However, utilities can go one step further - by preparing through awareness of alternative solutions. We all know people dislike solicitation calls or emails and maybe don’t have the time to evaluate new products and solutions. However, these investments may just be the key to being even more prepared for severe weather and ensuring that your team, community, and family are safe. 


Here are just some of the solutions NexGen Utility Sales’ suppliers have to offer: 

  • Need an emergency backup in case of large-scale substation damage during storm season? Learn more about Delta Star’s Mobile Substation.

  • Worried that some structures may not be able to sustain strong winds? Learn about ASC for substation structures and transmission towers/poles.

  • Looking for spare parts for old transformers? Ask us about a fleet assessment and help us get you set up with the right vendors for same-day support of hard-to-find items, such as LTC contact kits, gauges, bushings, and much more.

  • Concerned about rusting or leaking radiators? Ask us about Trantech Radiators.

  • Looking for a transformer fan that can withstand corrosive environments? We’ve got you covered with PX3 PowerFlow!

  • Want your team to be more prepared for emergent situations without having to train them in dangerous situations? Get connected to Oberon Technologies for a full-scale virtual reality training experience.

  • Don’t go into crisis mode before you need to, and don’t deploy valuable and limited personnel unless you have to... Keep an eye on your projects with Systems With Intelligence touchless monitoring solutions for both thermal and optical monitoring solutions.

  • Have you invested in an EV fleet but don’t know how to keep them charged? Ask us about NOMAD for a portable battery energy storage system up to 2MWH. 


Contact us today to discuss these solutions and more with a NexGen team member who will weather the storm by your side! Energize your future today!

(434)-329-7845







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