Powerful winds and drenching rains have not been out of the ordinary with two tropical systems wreaking havoc on Southern New England in the past two years. The concern for another extreme storm is why National Grid is making advancements, especially with new technologies. President of National Grid Rhode Island, Tim Horan, explains, "The quicker we can get information, the quicker we can get it out to the crews, the quicker we can deploy crews and we will reduce the response time and we will reduce the restoration time."
On top of new technologies to cut down the wait time for power restoration after storms, employees who work out in the elements go through rigorous training every year on the latest safety measures. David Stanford has worked for the company for 27 years, he says, "If we get thrown into a situation that we haven't seen in a long time, you know, what are we going to do? We are going to be prepared to that job and to do it correctly and to make sure everyone on our crew is going to be safe."
And it's not just tropical storms that they prepare for, Horan goes on, "When we look at the floods we've had and the snow storms we've had, we really have to be ramped up all year round."
Social media is also becoming a big part of National Grids emergency plans. Customers can get updates during storms from broadcast text alerts, twitter, and facebook.