In September 2017, Hurricane Irma ravaged the Florida Keys. This single catastrophic event caused an estimated $50 billion dollars in damage as utilities responded to the nearly 6 million people were without power. The labor used and the cost of repairs was astronomical. Even a year later, utilities were still working to track crew data for cost-recovery reports tied to the restoration.
Although a massive storm like Irma is a great example of just how hard it can be to keep up to date with tracking and costs, plenty of other smaller damaging events often leave utilities pressed to come up with the documentation needed for FEMA reimbursements. It’s a challenge for all utilities, however; some fail to realize that there is a simple, long-term solution for these short-term events.
Looking to technology for storm cost recovery data and reporting can help to quickly validate the info you need to prepare a cost-analysis report. Without an automated damage assessment equipment for data collection, a utility can take up to 6 months or more to compile data for reporting.
But when dealing with major outages caused by natural disasters, some utilities are still manually recording and tracking their crews. Having one source of truth for historical data capture can help with:
- Records showing how many meals both internal and external crew members ate per day
- Data tied to hotels internal and external crew members stayed in, their vehicles, and their work orders – including descriptions of damage assessments and their GPS coordinates
- Data collection at the point of repair, including GPS coordinates
- Steps taken by managers before during, and after the restoration
- Eliminating the need to bring on consultants who specialize in cost-recovery submissions
These days, tracking an entire restoration process manually is not only impractical, but is costing your utility more money, time, and resources. Many utilities across North America are turning to automated solutions to track their crews and record data seamlessly and effortlessly. Using ARCOS solutions like Crew Manager, Resource Assist, and Damage Assessment can automate your manual storm cost recovery processes, leading to crystal-clear transparency needed for recovering all restoration costs. With advanced solutions like these, utilities everywhere are saving hundreds of millions of dollars along with cutting the time of storm recovery in half.
By turning to technology, you can say ‘goodbye’ to swimming in paperwork and searching for data from years past. Check out our recent whitepaper to learn how your utility peers are using ARCOS to simplify their storm cost recovery and FEMA reimbursement challenges, while saving time and money.