March 13, 2023

Adventures In Kayak Support

In 2019, Chris Lahman, now the Executive Vice President of Futura, was camping with his wife near Lake Lanier in Georgia. Although a major storm was making its way across the Southeast, the worst of it had died out by the time the storm hit Chris’s campsite. “It was a little scary in the tent that night with the wind and the rain, but the storm went right over us” Chris said. “Unfortunately, our friends in Mississippi were hit a lot harder.”

The storm caused mass power outages across the state. “As is standard operating procedure for any co-op family, we had members sending crews to other utilities that experienced a lot of damage.” Lahman said. Futura’s FieldPro allows on-the-go crews to access data from any location. Because cooperatives also provide mutual aid to each other so often, FieldPro allows data from one utility to be easily shared with another utility. This feature allows visiting lineworkers to access critical data and work quickly to restore lost power.

By the time the cooperatives had organized and dispatched crews to where they were needed most, it was the next morning. Michael Maloney, the head of IT at Delta EPA, was reaching out to Chris. “I was kayak fishing on the lake,” Chris said. “Luckily I had my phone on me!” Michael needed help transferring the data between utilities. Chris was able to use his phone to remotely access a few servers and get the data where it needed to go.

Chris might have missed out on snagging a big one, but he was happy to sacrifice a big catch to help a member. “The data helped the crews to restore power and allowed the utility to safely recover from the storm.” Chris said. “I would have lied about the size of the fish anyway.”