In a survey conducted in September 2016 by ARCOS LLC, the software provider asked utilities how they manage damage assessment in the wake of major events like storms and earthquakes. ARCOS found a majority (35%) still relying on paper and pencil and others relying on electronic forms that were hand entered into an OMS (31%), other forms are represented and detailed in the full text.
The results are surprising if for no reason other than technology for assessing damage after major events has existed for more than a decade. One utility understands the challenge of relying on manual processes for damage assessment is Consolidated Edison of New York. When Superstorm Sandy left 8.2 million of its customers without electricity in October 2012, it took Con Edison more than a week to assess the damage. In the wake of the storm Con Edison put into place a device-agnostic damage assessment system that brings assessors an online and offline capability for finding and reporting damage.