Hurricane preparedness revs up

Hurricane readiness has been at the top of the radar screen for MISO South as we approach hurricane season that begins June 1. MISO is preparing from both operational and crisis communications standpoints – working closely with our member organizations.

“Hurricanes are something that we must anticipate and prepare for,” says MISO South Vice President Todd Hillman. “Our members have asked for these types of exercises, and MISO is responding.”

The MISO South staff has been working to perfect a detailed plan of action. In May, those plans will be put to the test, as MISO South hosts a drill that will simulate a major storm. MISO will follow with another drill in June.

The May drill will simulate a Category 3 hurricane moving up the Mississippi River. As the hurricane moves into the area, South Region Director of Operations Tag Short will make the decision of whether to implement the Hurricane Management Command.

“When a hurricane roars into the Gulf, our contracted weather services will be monitoring and looking at the track of the storm very closely,” Short explains.

In a real event, once the Hurricane Management Command is initiated, MISO Operations will host multiple daily calls with members to discuss status and necessary actions.

If warranted, the South Region staff will be augmented with additional operators across the system: three positions will be added to the reliability desk and the spare desk in the control room to monitor the storm and improve response.

“These additional measures will be in place to help normalize operations as much as possible in a hurricane-type event,” Short says.

Short pointed out that communication among the South team, members and stakeholders will be key – and something that will continue to be a focus of improvement.

“We will continue to focus on effective, open and timely communication with our members,” he says. “Having a robust plan and being able to practice that plan is key to being ready for the next event.”

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