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Prepare for emerging threats in 2024: Strategies for enabling business continuity

LG&E and KU Energy Q&A: Everbridge for disruptive events and customer threats

For utilities, almost anything can be considered a “disruptive event.” Weather, in particular, can wreak havoc – everything from a mild storm that causes a branch to fall on a power line, to an F5 tornado that takes out a power station.

There is a less publicized issue for utilities, however, and it involves physical and verbal threats from their own customer base. More common than you might imagine, these situations involve actual threats of violence (sometimes at gunpoint!) against field workers who are merely doing their jobs and shutting down service due to delinquency. Since employees are often in the field, working closely with customers, these types of threats are very serious.

LG&E and KU Energy (short for Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company) serves 1.2 million customers with natural gas and electric utilities in Kentucky and parts of Virginia. In an interview with Everbridge, Jody Grizz, LG&E and KU Energy’s continuity program coordinator, talks about how the company uses the Everbridge Unified Critical Communication system to help manage and mitigate these threats. In addition, of course, LG&E and KU also uses the solution to ensure business continuity and improve staffing and coordination during other emergencies.

In the video, learn how LG&E and KU Energy has:

Safeguarded employees from customer threats: The company averages three customer threats per week and it uses the Everbridge system to quickly notify any field technicians that might be going to (or even near) a potentially dangerous situation or area.

Transitioned from call trees to automatic notifications: LG&E and KU Energy previously relied on manual call trees and pagers during disruptive events. Issues like losing the call list or “on-call” phone numbers led to an extremely inefficient system. Today, it uses Everbridge to send a range of communications—including polling notifications and conference bridges. This ensures real-time, automated communication and feedback, as well as the ability to activate nearby, capable technicians.

Gained confidence in managing disruptive events: Due to LG&E and KU Energy’s gas compressor stations, Grizz is always prepared for the possibility of an earthquake that could damaging gas lines. While this would be a rare occurrence, he is confident that if it did happen, the company has the right system in place to handle the response effectively. Everbridge’s Unified Critical Communication system helps the company proactively notify employees of impending weather issues and/or coordinate efforts after disruptive events. Even if LG&E and KU Energy’s network fails, it can still get communications out through Everbridge.

You can find the full video Q&A below:

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