With a large T&D inventory and a dedicated Hubbell Emergency Action Team (H.E.A.T.), Hubbell Power Systems, Inc. (HPS) specializes in storm response and is always ready to respond. When Hurricane Harvey strengthened across the Gulf of Mexico, the HPS customer service department and distribution center were prepared.
The company started receiving orders for Hurricane Harvey two days in advance from landfall by Texas utilities and coops. They knew it was going to be a devastating Category 4, and when it hit on Friday, Aug. 25, HPS customer service and distribution worked through the weekend to manage calls. By Monday, Aug. 28, HPS processed and shipped more than 220,000 lbs of utility products for power restoration.
“We take precautions to ensure that our accounts are covered in the event of an emergency. Ninety-eight percent of our storm orders shipped in the first 24 hours. This allows us to not disrupt our everyday orders,” shared Brian Serati, HPS vice president of North American Sales.
Knowing that linemen would be working hard to restore power, HPS employees pulled together to assemble and donate 500 storm packs, which included two bottles of water, a towel, t-shirt, snacks and a hand-written card. The packs were shipped to Texas with the product shipments for delivery on Tuesday, Aug. 29. AEP Texas was one of the utilities that received the linemen storm kits.
Over the next three weeks, HPS shipped one million pounds of utility products in response to Hurricane Harvey. When the customer ordered something that wasn't in stock, HPS manufacturing facilities rose to the challenge. HPS immediately produced over 500 cutouts for a Texas utility and shipped them directly to Houston to keep things rolling.
Even before the flood waters receded from Houston, Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean and traveled up Florida and Georgia. For two weeks – 10 days straight – HPS customer service were updating customers hourly on shipments that were loaded with planned arrival times.
HPS proactively canceled its distributor training course scheduled in Aiken, South Carolina. The training course is rescheduled for Nov. 7-9 at the Aiken manufacturing plant.
From Hurricane Irma’s destruction, over six million people lost power in Florida, and HPS shipped over two million pounds of product. They prepared another 500 storm kits for utilities in Florida and Georgia. Storm shipments include arresters, insulators, cutouts, pole line hardware, tools, grounding equipment, gloves, connectors and more.
“After a major storm, utilities are depending on us. In the case of Hurricane Irma, utilities had 20,000 boots on the ground. We have to get the products delivered as soon as possible so power can be restored to everyone affected,” shared John Menne, HPS Director of Customer Service. “Any delay in delivery effects power restoration efforts. Utilities prioritize their customers to the highest degree. We know how important it is to deliver on a commitment to reliability. Without product, the line crews can’t do their job.”