Major Events

Nov. 1, 2019

Prior to the Major Event

  1. Did the distributor have any prior warning that the major event would occur?
    Yes.
  2. If the distributor did have prior warning, did the distributor arrange to have extra employees on duty or on standby prior to the major event beginning? If so, please give a brief description of arrangements.
    No. Once restoration efforts began, we moved employees out of their regular positions into positions that would aid in the effort.
  3. If the distributor did have prior warning, did the distributor issue any media announcements to the public warning of possible outages resulting from the pending major event? If so, through what channels?
    Yes, through our website, and Twitter and Facebook accounts.
  4. Did the distributor train its staff on the response plans for a major event? If so, please give a brief description of the training process.
    Yes. Some training was position specific, such as crisis communications procedures, while other training is more general, such as relating to emergency management and the more formal incident management system (IMS). 
  5. Did the distributor have third party mutual assistance agreements in place prior to the major event? If so, who were the third parties (i.e., other distributors, private contractors)?
    Yes, we have mutual assistance agreement with other LDCs, but not required in this event. They had their own outages to deal with.

During the Major Event

  1. Please explain why this event was considered by the distributor to be a major event.
    The calculated System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI)/Day (mins) for the day exceeds the annual TMED threshold. The calculated annual TMED threshold using five year data (2014 to 2018) is 0.2808, while the calculated SAIDI for the day is 1.29.
  2. Was the IEEE Standard 1366 used to identify the scope of the major event? If not, why not?
    Yes.
  3. Please identify the cause of interruption for the major event as per the table in section 2.1.4.2.5.
    6 - Adverse Weather.
  4. Were there any declarations by government authorities, regulators or the grid operator of an emergency state of operation in relation to the major event?
    No.
  5. When did the major event begin (date and time)?
    Nov. 1, 2019 at 1:41 a.m.
  6. What percentage of on-call distributor staff was available at the start of the major event and utilized during the major event?
    100 per cent of two on call lineman and one on call operator were available at the start of the major event. Ninety per cent or 19 of 21 electrical staff were utilized during the major event.
  7. Did the distributor issue any estimated times of restoration (ETR) to the public during the major event? If so, through what channels?
    Yes, through our website, outage map and Twitter and Facebook accounts. The information was picked up and distributed by local news media. Example website article.
  8. If the distributor did issue ETRs, at what date and time did the distributor issue its first ETR to the public?
    We began responding to tweets and issuing communications via social media at 6:30 a.m. Our first ETR was given mid-morning on Nov. 1
  9. Did the distributor issue any updated ETRs to the public? If so, how many and at what dates and times were they issued?
    Estimate six official updates via website articles and distributed multiple times on social media.
    Example: https://utilitieskingston.com/News/Article/Nov-2-update-on-power-restoration
  10. Did the distributor inform customers about the options for contacting the distributor to receive more details about outage/restoration efforts? If so, please describe how this was achieved.
    Yes, we directed customers to check our outage map for updates, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We also consistently shared our emergency phone number, which included a recorded update on power outage areas.
  11. Did the distributor issue press releases, hold press conferences or send information to customers through social media notifications? If so, how many times did the distributor issue press releases, hold press conferences or send information to customers through social media notifications? What was the general content of this information?
    We issued four releases on our website and shared them via our social media accounts. These were picked up and distributed by local news media. General content included safety messaging, reassurances, explanation of how we restore power, ETR’s, contact information, power outage precautions.
  12. What percentage of customer calls were dealt with by the distributor’s IVR system (if available) versus a live representative?
    Some customers are satisfied with our live recording of known outages and may hang up after receiving this information. Of those that proceed to speak with an operator, one hundred per cent of calls are answered by a line representative, our after-hours call service, a customer service representative, clerk or operator. Customers first navigate our interactive phone system, before being routed to a live person. 
  13. Did the distributor provide information about the major event on its website? If so, how many times during the major event was the website updated?
    Yes. Our OMS system updates automatically as power outages are confirmed and restored.
    Additionally, we issued or updated our website releases at least six times. Example.
  14. Was there any point in time when the website was inaccessible? If so, what percentage of the total outage time was the website inaccessible?
    None.
  15. How many customers were interrupted during the major event? What percentage of the distributor’s total customer base did the interrupted customers represent?
    7,069 out of 27,600 customer or 25.6 per cent were interrupted during the major event.
  16. How many hours did it take to restore 90 per cent of the customers who were interrupted?
    48 hours.
  17. Was any distributed generation used to supply load during the major event?
    No.
  18. Were there any outages associated with loss of supply during the major event? If so, please report on the duration and frequency of loss of supply outages.
    No.
  19. In responding to the major event, did the distributor utilize assistance through a third party mutual assistance agreement?
    No.
  20. Did the distributor run out of any needed equipment or materials during the major event? If so, please describe the shortages.
    No.

After the Major Event

  1. What steps, if any, are being taken to be prepared for or mitigate such major events in the future (i.e., staff training, process improvements, system upgrades)?
    We debriefed with staff to find improvements and updated our crisis communications framework.
  2. What lessons did the distributor learn in responding to the major event that will be useful in responding to the next major event?
    We discussed dividing the city into four areas and having printable maps for the field crews instead of portable devices. Assigning trucks to areas and having a key map in operations, so when calls come in, operators can assign the work to trucks in the areas.
  3. Did the distributor survey its customers after the major event to determine the customers' opinions of how effective the distributor was in responding to the major event? If so, please describe the results.
    No. However, feedback on social media was overwhelmingly positive, with customers expressing their thanks and appreciation.