Monday AM June 15th, 2009

Reliant Energy has its business continuity plan in place, in case of a hurricane this summer. Ed Mayberry reports.
image of down power lines during Hurricane Ike

After Hurricane Ike struck September 13th, more than two million of CenterPoint Energy's 2.25 million customers lost electricity.  An additional 705,400 Entergy customers were without power.  Reliant Energy's Jason Few just finished a review of a business continuity plan for the hurricane season.

"And we are absolutely ready in the event of a hurricane and to make sure that we are there to support our customers and to work very closely with our partners like CenterPoint to ensure that we can get customers back into service as quickly as possible."

Ed : "And of course you have help from other cities, I mean, there's kind of a network of help when things like this happen."

"Yeah, I think if you look at last year, what happened, you had companies come from all over the United States to help, particularly, you know, companies like a CenterPoint that actually provide the transmission and distribution services."

The sooner you can get power back on, the less financial impact to the community.  Few says Reliant conducts reviews after weather events to determine how it handled the situation.

"And, you know, I think the things that we probably learned the most are ensuring that we have more rapid information available for customers in terms of what the statuses are from their repairs, because people, you know, everybody wants it solved instantly.  And so being able to take advantage of some of the technologies that are out there to give people more insight to that.  Working closer with radio stations to continue to provide that information, because if people don't have power, it's a little hard to get to the Internet.  Our business continuity planning for this year, we spent a lot of time ensuring that we'll be in a better position to ensure that happens."

CenterPoint says trees falling over in Ike's wind was a big factor in the power outages. 

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.
 

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...