White House Technical Consulting

Nigel Snoad, Google, with David Way, National Grid, presenting the Outage Data Initiative and Google Crisis Map.During the afternoon event, Nick Sinai, the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, shared the announcement made on May 28 in which a number of utilities and technology companies declared their intent to develop and use a standard format for publishing outage and restoration information. Following this announcement, David Way of National Grid and Nigel Snoad of Google presented on behalf of the Open Power Status Initiative group, sharing the progress the group has made and showing what a Google Crisis Map that uses this type of data may look like. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) also demonstrated their “Lantern Live” mobile app that combines power outage information and outage reporting with other useful information such as the locations of gas stations with fuel available. A recorded version of the event may be viewed here.

Demo of Lantern Live application showing power outage information.

iFactor also took part in a Power Outage Data meeting earlier in the day with utility and government representatives. The meeting included participants from the DOE, the department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) who shared their expected applications for standardized outage data. The DOE expects to use the data to inform first responders, HHS expects to use the data to help first responders and public health professionals identify power-dependant populations such as people on ventilators, and FEMA plans to use the data to decide where to allocate resources such as ice and generators. Google also shared their interest in the data, citing their Hurricane Sandy Crisis Map as likely the most viewed map in history with approximately 50 million map views. During the meeting, the attendees also discussed the idea of providing predictive data to aid in disaster response and recovery, as well as concerns around licensing of the standardized data and maintaining customer privacy.

iFactor has mobile solutions that can help utilities and customers alike to save time and money, quickly access important information and increase productivity. Interested in developing a mobile communications strategy for your utility? Watch our video and contact iFactor to learn more.

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