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Historic tornadoes and flooding plagued the U.S. in May, displacing many families and disrupting businesses. Thousands in the affected areas were fortunate to avoid flood and storm damage, but could not escape the implications that the weather had on the infrastructure that supplied vital utilities to their homes including water, electric and communications.

USIC leaders across the Southern, Midwest and Northeastern United States met more than two weeks ago to pre-plan emergency management strategy for our partners in the paths of these fatal storms. The pre-planning process includes studying weather and utility density maps to allocate additional on-call resources in the areas of our clients' critical infrastructure and vulnerable, high-population areas.

"We called [our clients] ahead of the storms and asked them: 'Where do you want us?'" Christian Barker, USIC District Manager, Kansas City

With an increased number of multi-hand crews in place - and ready for action, USIC Management continued to work closely with customers like KCP&L and Ameren immediately after the storms, to prioritize tickets and optimize service restoration.

"Communication is critical. It's our goal to work so closely with our clients that they never have crews waiting on us."

In addition to performing daily tickets for unaffected customers and managing emergency response tickets, concentrated resources give USIC locate technicians the bandwidth to be proactive in helping their communities, at large.

"One of our values at USIC is, 'Do the Right Thing.' In a time of crisis, when there is so much need, it's our job as leaders to ensure our technicians are prepared and equipped to perform the necessary work, without compromising these values."

Barker describes how his team worked together to quickly perform tickets safely and accurately - but the work didn't stop there:

"We had technicians stopping by line crews on poles to see if help was needed. They helped unload generators and listened to homeowners describe their experiences, as they took shelter in their basement while the storm lifted their home from the foundation above them."

For more information about a partnership with USIC - and how we get "ahead of the storms" to help you pre-plan emergency management, contact us at: 1-317-575-7800

Storm damage photo provided by C. Barker
Storm damage photo provided by C. Barker