/images/TDUpdate2.gif/images/southwire_100x70.jpgWhen Emergencies Exceed Planning - 2004TDEmergencyNov2004.htmFour hurricanes in a row challenged Southeastern utilities. Southwire helped deliver power.
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When Emergencies Exceed Planning - 2004

Four hurricanes in a row challenged Southeastern utilities. Southwire helped deliver power.

All utilities have emergency storm plans – but reality has a way of being unplannable. When emergencies overwhelm planning, Southwire pitches in.

For example, who could plan on four hurricanes in six weeks? Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne left layer on layer of storm-downed utility lines in the Southeast – andany one of them would be major damage. Southwire rose to the occasion.

“Southwire employees were on call 24 hours a day from August 11 through the first week of October, responding to customer calls and coordinating with manufacturing.” says Tommy Gable, director of sales for the Southeast Region of Southwire’s Energy Division.

Manufacturing agility – and storm know-how – met needs quickly
Southwire employees take great pride in playing a key role in restoring power. As the storms raged, Southwire plants in Georgia, Illinois and Kentucky moved quickly to shift production to products needed to return service to thousands of utility customers. Accustomed to responding to emergency calls and supporting power restoration efforts, Southwire people in all areas of production, logistics and customer service stretched themselves and their suppliers to produce the muchneeded cable at record levels.

In that critical period, Southwire plants supplied storm-damaged areas with more than 200 shipments of overhead conductors of all sizes, covered service drops and bare copper for transformer connections.

Southwire’s understanding of storm damage was a key factor in the response. Where a single utility may see a major storm only every few years, Southwire helps customers deal with major storms every year. In many cases, plants anticipated needs, running bare overhead and service drops as soon as the storms hit, to stay in front of the utilities’ major needs. One customer commented that due to Southwire’s performance, concern about wire and cable availability went from their number-one worry on the first day of Hurricane Charley, to their lowest issue as Frances

Emergency efforts extract a cost
Storm response can be a costly effort. “Although heroic measures are critical to storm recovery, emergency response also brings an overall cost,” says Gable. “When carefully balanced schedules are scrapped, there’s an impact in lost manufacturing efficiency. Everyone, Southwire, transformer manufacturers, and the utilities themselves, sees these costs. It is the price of living in the real world where hurricanes, ice storms, and other catastrophes do happen.”

Eddie Adams, president of Southwire’s Energy Division, concludes, “Throughout Southwire’s 54-year history of providing wire and cable to the electric utility industry, we always have placed a special emphasis upon customer service. While we certainly regret the circumstances, we are pleased to have been in a position to support the utilities in Florida as they worked to restore power and help life get back to normal for millions of people.”