We are extremely impressed with the RAYVN solution. It's straightforward and easy to use, which allowed us to train our teams and implement the program quickly. The collaboration features are excellent - we've been able to connect more than 1,000 staff and nearly 450 sites through the stakeholder and team functionalities in RAYVN to share information and reporting, as well as easily monitor and manage incidents.
Melissa CameronSenior Vice President and Partner of Southwest Strategies
Over the past decade, intense wildfires have broken out across California, resulting in a devastating loss of life, property loss and infrastructure damage. In response, the state of California has introduced weather-related monitoring procedures to assess the risk of wildfires. When certain thresholds of wind and moisture are reached, utility companies take preventative action through Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) or ‘de-energization’ measures.
While a PSPS is vital for state-wide emergency preparedness, such incidents can present considerable inconvenience and introduce risks of their own, especially for vulnerable communities and individuals. For the safety and convenience of communities without power, California investor-owned utility companies set up Customer Resource Centers (CRCs) for the duration of the power outage.
Setting up and running CRCs quickly and flexibly in response to shifting weather conditions represents a considerable challenge. Existing manual solutions—involving tracking requirements by hand, telephone calls and inventory counts at the end of the day—were proving complex and slow. Consequently, Southwest Strategies, a leading public outreach and affairs agency, was tasked to come up with a more responsive, better coordinated solution to support communities across California in the event of a power outage.
Southwest Strategies chose RAYVN because it offers a flexible, easy-to-use and cost-effective response to complex, multi-site critical event management in the face of power outages, wildfires and other volatile weather-related incidents.
Mobilizing Staff for the Customer Resource Center
In the event of a PSPS, the utility companies need to respond quickly, within 24 hours, to mobilise up to 1000 staff members to get the Customer Resource Center up and running for the affected sites and communities. The centres are staffed from 8am to 10pm so that members of the community have a place to go while the power is off. Real-time communications, notifications, and incident logging enable the setup and running of the CRCs.
Logging Incidents, Tracking Inventory, and Managing Resources
Once the sites are open to the public, it is important to be able to log any incidents, track inventory, manage resources and log as well as respond to feedback from customers. RAYVN’s incident log and reporting features enable the utility companies to monitor what is happening at the sites in real time—to easily manage site needs and inventory—and to issue regular updates as required every two hours.
Coordinated Response and Collaboration
Moreover, flexibility, scalability and agility are needed in the face of changing weather conditions or wildfire outbreaks, which may require site closures and/or additional CRCs to be activated. Accidents and other incidents may arise—all of which need to be reported and acted upon. In the event of a wildfire, a site evacuation may be necessary.
In any of these scenarios, the RAYVN solution enables a coordinated response for local and distributed team members. With the RAYVN collaboration functionality site staff can interact in real-time with public safety specialists, law enforcement, onsite security and key stakeholders.
Proven Demand for Multiple Concurrent CRCs and High-Volume Usage
Utility companies are faced with the demand caused by multiple outages that affected 350,000 customers, leading to 30,000 visitors at 108 concurrent sites for support.
Compliance and Reporting
For compliance reasons, utility companies need to provide detailed incident reporting to the California government. RAYVN supports this requirement with its real-time incident logs, all available through the archive functionality. Vital data and management reports can be submitted easily within a short-time frame during or after any power shutdown or other critical event. This functionality saves the utility companies time and money as compared to the manual reporting practices used previously.
With RAYVN, Southwest Strategies now delivers a cost-effective solution to California for managing community support in the face of a power shutdown or other weather-related critical event, such as wildfire.
Emergency preparedness is absolutely vital for California in the face of power shutdowns, wildfires and other critical events. On average, there are now six Public Safety Power Shutoffs a year for any given utility company in California, which potentially impact a population of more than twenty-nine million residents. The reach and frequency of such events means that any critical event management solution must be cost-effective, scalable and easy-to-use.
Setting up multiple, concurrent CRCs
With the support of the RAYVN solution, Southwest Strategies is able to quickly setup and run multiple, concurrent Community Resource Centers, which provide essential services and support across northern and southern California in the event of a power shutdown. The transition from manual systems to RAYVN has resulted in efficiency gains while also delivering a cost-effective solution on behalf of affected communities.
‘We are extremely impressed with the RAYVN solution. It's straightforward and easy to use, which allowed us to train our teams and implement the program quickly. The collaboration features are excellent—we've been able to connect more than 1,000 staff and nearly 450 sites through the stakeholder and team functionalities in RAYVN to share information and reporting, as well as easily monitor and manage incidents,’ says, Melissa Cameron, Senior Vice President and Partner of Southwest Strategies. In an era of climate-change, RAYVN offers an easy-to-use, scalable and cost-effective solution for highly responsive critical event management, both now and for the future.