How Utilities Can Build a More Responsive Mutual Aid Network
For power and communications providers preparing for storms, wildfires, or flooding, every moment is critical. Mutual aid agreements are a necessary tool to help the nation’s infrastructure repair and rebuild after major outages. However, valuable time is spent manually communicating with dozens (or hundreds) of other companies to request help and coordinate the response
Time is of the essence in these situations. Automated systems for managing mutual agreements speed up response times, may reduce cost, and help avoid confusion. A shared, centralized asset database is ideal to ensure coordination. This secure platform makes it easy for organizations to:
- quickly distribute aid requests to all mutual aid partners
- communicate specific needs to each partner
- identify and commit available resources
- track available support
- coordinate communications and efforts among all parties in a central location
This approach offers several benefits to organizations dealing with a disaster response and to those providing assistance.
Clearly Identify Mutual Aid Partners' Available Resources
For example, carrying out power restoration following a major event requires specific skills and roles, including:
- Damage assessors
- Logistics teams
- Field personnel
- Repair teams
- Service engineers
By identifying the specific skills, equipment, and other resources immediately available, an organization facing an impending disaster can be confident the exact personnel with the skillsets needed will be able to respond quickly and fully.
As every organization has specific expectations and needs, it is helpful to create contracts for mutual aid agreements that detail relevant issues, such as:
- Pay rates and overtime definitions
- Union and non-union coordination
- Equipment brought in by utilities providing assistance
- The number of people on the crew
- The number of supervisors
When this contract information is entered into a shared, centralized asset database, it can easily be updated to ensure accurate and timely information is accessible by all parties.
Helps Identify “First Ring” and “Second Ring” of Support
Map the Predicted Path to Asset Locations
Deliver Faster Communications in Advance, During and After a Disaster Response
- Housing and related services
- First aid
- Required safety training
- Available materials and equipment
By making these details available in a single location that is accessible by all crews, accurate and consistent information can be provided quickly to all parties involved.
Streamline Financial Accounting
Maximizing the Power of Mutual Aid Agreements
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