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This article discusses how a CMMS can help restore telecommunications services faster after a natural disaster.

Restoring Telecommunications After a Natural Disaster

Every year there are a number of severe storms, hurricanes, flooding and even an earthquake or two that disrupts telecommunications service. No one can stop the storms from arriving, however, communications asset managers can take action to mitigate the damage as well as ensure services are restored to normal with the help of a CMMS.

The most common problems caused by storms are down transmission lines and power outages. In many situations the assets are in remote locations or spread out over a large geographic area. This makes knowing the condition of assets as well as the need for efficient maintenance and repair a must have. Effective telecommunications maintenance starts with a plan.

CMMS Telecommunications Maintenance Planning for Natural Disasters

There are two basic parts of effective

maintenance planning for natural disasters. They are knowing the condition of assets at all times and being able react quickly to know issues. The first part requires an effective and proactive maintenance operation that will provide asset managers with the information they need to respond quickly.

CMMS solution gives telecommunication asset managers the tools they need by accumulating asset detail and recording the work management history of each asset. When properly implemented a CMMS system will result in:

  • A detailed record of asset information such as location, description, age, vendor, date installed.
  • Automate work management processes such as preventive maintenance, maintenance repairs and inspections thus creating a proactive maintenance operation by enabling more work to be done with the same amount of resources.
  • A complete record of work management history. The CMMS records each maintenance activity along with the results/outcome of every work order. Management reports can be produced so that asset managers always know the condition of each asset before a storm arrives.

Inspections with a CMMS Enhance Reaction Time

One of the keys to minimizing damage and restoring service quickly is to perform asset inspections before, during and after a storm using mobile devices loaded with CMMS inspection application.

The reason this is important is because inspections will identify problems that need immediate attention. The advantage of using a CMMS to help perform inspections is that inspections can be done using a mobile handheld device. Besides eliminating paperflow, the mobile device can be pre-loaded with set inspection questions. The results are recorded and then transmitted back to maintenance managers for analysis and work priorities.

For example, when inspecting communication towers after a storm hits the maintenance crew notices the foundation is about to collapse or they notice evidence of a lightning strike or smell something burning. Maintenance management can then issue a work order to be done immediately while the crew is onsite or scheduled for a later time.

The result of inspections is that management can make better and faster decisions on the work needed to be done to restore telecommunicatgions services. This makes the use of a CMMS a valuable tool for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of maintenance teams.