Heroes of the Storms

Heroes of the Storms bookSteve Mitnick and Rachel Moore tell inspiring stories of utility industry heroes who bring up our power when it is brought down by nature or man.

When the storms come, and our electricity shuts off, it sometimes seems like a perfectly normal progression. What can you do? Nature’s fury takes on the constructions of man. Guess who wins that match.

It all starts with a path of destruction. After a while, once the winds die down, the devastation is apparent. Now anybody can see that the power isn’t coming back anytime soon. It is then when we recalculate things. How are we actually going to get through this, however long this is?

That’s when our heroes of the storms show up, from around here, and from around the state. From several states over, they come. With their gear and trucks, they come. They form up, much like an army. They come here, from their hometowns to ours, to reassemble what’s been so thoroughly dissembled by the weather’s tantrum. They come, so we can plug back into our lives.

The electric utility industry is a great one for several reasons. But one of the best reasons is this – the dedication, the courage, the sheer persistence of the heroes of storm recovery. This book is for all of us, but for them especially.

There is so much to tell. These are the chapters that are rarely written, and the stories rarely told. Recounted here are the sacrifices of the heroes’ families left behind to cope alone, and the essential efforts behind the scenes to ensure the heroes are safe, well-fed, and have a clean bed for a precious few hours.

There is more. There are years of planning and drills, so that when the battle is joined, the crews work as if they were choreographed for the stage. There are additionally the engineers constantly innovating, honing the equipment and processes, to cut five-day outages down to four days, down to three days, down to, well…

Then there are the utilities themselves, stretching to harden the systems we all so depend on, make long outages shorter, and make outages of any duration, ultimately, a scarce occurrence — rather than the norm after the fiercest of storms, fires, and floods.

It will be an arduous quest to zero outages, now hastened by ever growing concerns about a changing and ever more challenging climate. A noble quest it is — one replete with heroes.

This book project was supported by four key organizations of the utilities industry: Ameren, the American Public Power Association, the Edison Electric Institute, and Dentons. Their support enabled Public Utilities Fortnightly to distribute the book digitally for free throughout our industry at no charge or obligation.

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The hardcover version of this book will soon be available. Utilities, agencies, associations, vendors, and firms in our industry can purchase a quantity of the hardcovers which they can then distribute to employees and external constituencies. Please contact Joseph Paparello for more info, at paparello@fortnightly.com.