NPU is prepared for severe weather
Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) is prepared to respond to severe weather and has enhanced how it will communicate with customers during emergencies. As part of its enhanced customer communications efforts, NPU has implemented two new technologies.
First, an outage map was added to the NPU website (www.norwichpublicutilities.com) to provide customers with a snapshot of outages across the city. The map automatically updates every ten minutes and displays clusters of customers out of service, not individual homes or businesses. This resource allows customers to check to see if an outage is impacting their neighborhood, which in turn will reduce call volume to NPU’s Customer Service Center.
Second, NPU will make greater use of its ‘robo-call’ system, CodeRed, to make automated calls to customers to provide updates on outages, progress with restoration, and important safety messages. In the past, NPU has only used automated calls during severe storms; through CodeRed, NPU will communicate with customers on a regular basis. NPU is encouraging customers to confirm that NPU has their most up-to-date phone numbers for these calls.
In addition, NPU’s standard preparations have been completed and confirmed, including:
• Tree trimming – Throughout the summer, NPU line crews and two contracted tree crews worked on trimming trees and removing heavy vegetation, especially vine growth in targeted areas.
• Contracted crews – NPU has confirmed the availability of two contracted tree crews that are assigned to NPU at all times; an additional six contracted tree crews will be available to respond during a major storm if necessary.
• Mutual aid – NPU has mutual aid agreements with the Northeast Public Power Association (NEPPA) and the American Public Power Association (APPA). If a storm is localized to lower New England, crews from other NEPPA members will be able to send line crews to assist with restoration efforts in Norwich. If a storm is more wide-reaching and impacts most of New England, crews from the APPA mutual aid network will make crews from other parts of the country available to assist. NPU regularly participates in mutual aid coordination meetings with both organizations.