Storm Hardening Utility Communications

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1989

Save money and increase reliability.

BY JEFF GROSSHAUSER, Motorola

Preparing for winter is more than just a seasonal ritual for utility providers. Electricity and gas must still power cities during violent snowstorms and extreme cold. Arguably, that power is never more needed than when extreme conditions strike. Keeping utilities—and thus cities—operating under extreme conditions requires planning, hardened infrastructure and equipment, plus the realization that smooth operations still rely on trucks rolling and on the men and women who will put themselves at risk to keep electricity humming and gas flowing.

Utility managers must prioritize communications infrastructure as part of that preparation, along with the obvious focus on power generation and delivery. Utility personnel must still operate and communicate when it is bitterly cold and snowing. Common sense says that infrastructure problems are more likely to occur under such conditions and can be more difficult to fix. Planning, hardened equipment and the right vendor are the three keys to managing through winter’s tribulations.

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