What Utility Damage Assessors Can Learn from Super Bowl LI

damage assessors game plan

To a utility’s damage assessors and restoration teams, the season’s Super Bowl comes in many forms: lightning, snow, ice storms, wind, forest fires, floods, dust, spills, twisters or even earthquakes – and sometimes several at once.  The NFL would never play in such conditions.

Of course, your team may get to play a number of important “games” during the year.  But when the Big One comes around, you want to be on the metaphorical side that everybody in Atlanta hates right now. (Congrats to our friends in New England, and our condolences to our comrades in Georgia).

But really, are there lessons from Super Bowl LI that might benefit damage assessors?  Well, if you’ve been reading my posts for awhile, you know by now that I just can’t resist a good sports analogy.

The First Half: Side Effects of a Fast Start for Damage Assessors

With its emphasis on fielding a quick, young team, Atlanta went up fast and looked as if they might bury the Patriots by halftime.  With a Pats’ turnover, the Falcons’ offensive coordinator quickly assessed the opportunity, went to a hurry-up attack and had the Pats back on their heels for the entire first half and most of the third quarter.  Of course, that defensive Pick 6 helped a lot, too.

For emergency restoration, the fast start is always tempting.  If you have relatively inexperienced team members with few major incidents under their belts, you may have to keep them on a short leash.  Your emergency planners, like offensive coordinators, are blind until they get information from the damage assessors from the field.  And going into emergency restoration without a situational game plan is bound to lead to a lot of aimless, wasteful running around.

The trick is to get your assessment and planning done as quickly as possible.  You need an ample, well-trained, highly mobile Damage Assessment Team equipped with technology that can get accurate and complete information to your planners as quickly as possible.

And that’s not easy, even for Bill Belichick.  For all the scouting resources and intel available to him, it appeared that Belichick was taken aback in the first half and was a bit slow to fully assess the damage Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ defense were doing to his well-oiled machine.  But as anyone who’s been an Eagles fan during Chip Kelly’s reign knows, a great hurry-up offense has a nasty side-effect when you’re playing a ball-control team like the Pats – your defense can get worn down if you don’t keep scoring.

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