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Outage Management Review: When the Lights Go Out

By Phill Feltham

The occurrence of severe weather events is on the rise at an alarming rate. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, extreme weather events that used to happen once every 40 years now occur as frequently as every six years in some regions; severe weather is expected to become even more frequent over the next four decades due to the effects of climate change.

These events often leave a massive trail of devastation and loss affecting thousands, if not millions, of people. In 2013 alone, the year-end severe weather insured loss in Canada amounted to $3.2 billion, primarily as a result of the December ice storm that battered southern Ontario and eastern Canada.

Due to its broad impact, severe weather often dominates the news. Without a single, credible source of real-time outage information, it could be very easy for media outlets to misconstrue information about power failures and deliver news that is counter to the truth, to the detriment of utilities.

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