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Volume 31, Issue 2

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Thursday, 02 August 2018 21:17

Building a Common Operating Picture

Written by  MATTHEW R. ZISKA & TANEA THOMPSON

For Utility Situational Awareness During Catastrophic Emergencies According to the Department of Energy, weather-related disasters are the leading causes of power outages across the U.S. Severe weather has shut down entire cities including essential services such as emergency services, water services, and medical services. The disruption caused by severe weather has cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars. According to the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, the 2017 hurricane season was especially devastating to southern states, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, with economic impacts higher than $200 billion in damages. Puerto Rico was hit the hardest, losing their entire utility and communication infrastructures. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) predicted that 30 days after Hurricane Maria made landfall only 21 percent of power utility service would be restored. By January, only 45 percent of the island had electricity. By April, according to a Rhodium Group report, the Puerto Rico power outage