Welcome! The Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives (AREA) is a member-owned federation of 22 electric distribution cooperatives.

Tracking program will help with storm restoration

We had a peaceful hurricane season this year, but the approaching winter months bring the potential for storm damage and the need for co-ops to assist one another with power restoration. A new web-based asset management system will allow AREA, in cooperation with other statewides, to deploy and track crews in the wake of a storm, and will be accessible to co-ops as they manage their personnel.

Ten states have signed on to use the Cooperative Mutual Aid Assistance Site, developed by Mike Temple along with his Mississippi counterpart. Temple will begin training co-ops on its use in the next few months, perhaps with a mock exercise to provide a simulation on real-world use.

The site will allow a co-op to request help from statewide, which will relay the need to other co-ops, just as it does now. But the site will track outages by county, and will allow the co-op managers to see where the help will be coming from, and how many crews are or will be dispatched.

Temple said AREA has had such a program in mind for years and looked at vendors, but it was cost-prohibitive. But with this program, each state will pay to participate.