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KUBRA Keeps 500K Customers Informed During Hurricane Ian Outages

November 1, 2022

In September, all eyes were on western Cuba and the southern United States as a powerful storm gathered strength in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. When it reached landfall in Florida, it was a Category 4 hurricane and the largest to hit the state since 1935. Punishing winds and widespread flooding left a trail of destruction, with losses estimated at more than $50 billion. Millions of Floridians were left without power, including half a million of our utility partners’ customers. 

Throughout the storm, KUBRA worked closely with our partners who use Storm Center™, our interactive outage map solution. Together, we ensured their customers had all the outage information they needed. Below we share some map statistics from this period that emphasize the importance of providing customers with reliable, up-to-date outage information during severe weather events. This data makes it clear that in these times, customers turn to you for reassurance in the form of detailed and accurate outage reporting. Leaving your customers in the dark, literally and figuratively, hurts customer satisfaction and causes undue stress in an already challenging time.

Number of Outages and Customers Affected by Hurricane Ian

According to Storm Center data, half a million people in Florida experienced power outages for extended periods. We examined several utility partners’ outage maps to see how they fared and found that from September 27 to October 3, there were 16,377 outages. A quarter of these occurred on September 30. The storm's impact was felt the most from September 28 to September 30 by almost 85% of these customers. 

Outage Map Visitors

Throughout the week, our utility partners had over one million customers visit their Storm Center maps looking for information on outages affecting them. 70% of these map views were attributed to unique page views. Of that group, 30% of customers checked their outage map at least twice, indicating that they found the information on the map useful for staying in the know.

The high volume of visitors meant that KUBRA had to be prepared to handle the increased load and quickly process jobs to ensure that our utility partners’ outage maps stayed highly functional and effective for users. During the peak day of September 30, there was an exceptionally high volume of page visitors–almost 400,000 across several outage maps.

Time Spent on Map

The vast amount of information on Storm Center Outage maps resulted in customers spending, on average, almost 10 minutes on the site during their visit. This is four times more than the global benchmark for average session time for all websites. Through their outage map, customers could access critical information such as the cause of the outage, the percentage of customers affected, the number of customers affected, estimated restoration time, and more.

Map Performance

Despite a dramatic increase in page traffic on September 27-28 (approximately 3,000%), the performance of the map was unaffected. 

  • The average job processing time* only increased by 10% from 27 seconds to 30 seconds 
  • The average page load time increased from 1.64 seconds to 2.81 seconds

*Storm Center Maps share real-time data every 10 minutes. The job processing time is the time it takes to update the map by pulling data from a utility’s system and displaying it on their outage map.

Outage Notification Enrollment Data

During this period, almost 14,000 Florida residents enrolled to receive outage notifications using KUBRA Notifi®, our alerts and preference management platform. 52% of these enrollments came in on September 29 alone.

It’s critical to educate your customers on the availability of your outage map and the information they can obtain there. Reaching out to customers during a storm is a sure-fire way to increase outage alert enrollment because customers are looking to you for information, and you’re showing them where they can find it. By encouraging them to enroll for outage alerts, you give them a simple and effective way to stay informed during a major storm like Hurricane Ian. Delivering a steady stream of outage updates to your customers when they need it most will help improve customer satisfaction and reduce pressure on your call center during severe weather events. Weather is beyond your control, but how you communicate outage information to your customers is not.

Helping You Keep Customers Informed Is What We Do

This is not the first time KUBRA Storm Center and KUBRA Notifi have helped utilities during a major storm. KUBRA has kept customers informed on outages across the continent for over a decade!

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