News Center > Entergy prepares for 2023 hurricane season through Louisiana storm drill
Entergy prepares for 2023 hurricane season through Louisiana storm drill
Employees respond to mock storm scenarios and share knowledge, new technologies
BATON ROUGE, La. – Hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst: That is what approximately 400 Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans employees tackled head on over two days, from May 10-11, during the companies’ 2023 hurricane season storm drill.
The drill is one portion of the ongoing training that employees undergo throughout the year.
Employees kicked off day one by participating in various training and tabletop exercises that introduced them to new tools, technologies and processes. The drill is designed to help them restore power quickly and safely following severe weather and keep customers informed throughout those events. On day two, employees concluded their training by participating in a mock storm drill.
During the simulated hurricane scenarios, employees responded to two Category 5 hurricanes, with one making landfall in Southwest Louisiana and another in Southeast Louisiana. They tested their knowledge and skills related to all facets of storm restoration including operations, logistics, communications, and customer service and were evaluated on their planning and execution.
“We know that it’s not a matter of if but when Mother Nature decides to challenge us in Louisiana, and for that reason, we must be ready,” said Steven Benyard, vice president of reliability for Entergy in Louisiana. “The storm drill that we participate in every year is about continuous improvement; it’s about making sure that we’re readying ourselves and our workforce to be the best that we can be if we’re called to restore power following a major storm.”
The exercise involved storm roles from incident commander to crew leads and supervisors who will use new technologies to perform damage assessments quickly and safely, a critical part of storm restoration that helps local crews restore power in a real scenario through resource and logistics actions like deploying any necessary equipment, materials, and personnel.
Entergy’s drone experts were onsite with displays and equipment that is used by crews to assess damages to the electric system, especially in hard-to-access locations like the marsh or heavily wooded areas with saturated ground. Disaster Resource Group, a local vendor that partners with the company during storm response, was also onsite displaying components of a staging site like a bunk trailer that is typically used by utility workers during rest time and temporary tents that provide shelter for catering and laundry services.
Also, Entergy showcased its new mobile command center. The vehicle will function as a field command center, providing an immediate communications platform during major system incident response, or mutual assistance events.
“The storm drill we hold each year is a testament to the dedication of our workforce and their commitment to being there for the communities we serve,” said Phillip May, who has served as Entergy Louisiana’s president and CEO through many weather events, including hurricanes Laura and Ida. “We can’t predict the future or when and where the next major storm will land, but we can certainly ready ourselves to do what we’ve always done — be there for our customers, even in the most challenging times.”
“We live in an area prone to some of the most severe weather in the country, and are facing stronger and more frequent storms,” said Deanna Rodriguez, Entergy New Orleans president and CEO. “While we continue to invest in hardening the grid, today’s storm drill is an important exercise for our teams to prepare for anything Mother Nature may bring.”
Customers encouraged to be prepared as well
Although Entergy is always upgrading the electric system and adding in resilience, the company is encouraging customers to be prepared for hurricane season as well because no two storms are alike and each present different challenges and can inflict different levels of damage.
Entergy provides information to customers to help them prepare for hurricane season and communicates with them after a severe weather event. The company’s Storm Center includes checklists and other information that customers can use to create a pre-storm kit and prepare for hurricane season. The website includes individual pages on preparation, safety and restoration. Customers are also encouraged to follow Entergy New Orleans and Entergy Louisiana on Facebook and Twitter at @EntergyNOLA and @EntergyLA.
Preparing beyond the 2023 hurricane season
Entergy recognizes that the intensity and frequency of major storms are increasing and believes we must take an accelerated approach to storm hardening and building resilience into the electric system. To provide reliable power well into the future and help the communities we serve recover more quickly following severe weather events, the company filed Entergy Future Ready Resilience Plans with its regulators, the New Orleans City Council and the Louisiana Public Service Commission.
Editor's note: To download soundbites and images from Entergy’s 2023 Louisiana storm drill, visit entergy.canto.com/b/OQTBC.
About Entergy Louisiana
Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electricity to more than 1.1 million customers in 58 parishes and natural gas service to approximately 95,000 customers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Entergy New Orleans, LLC provides electricity to more than 209,000 customers and natural gas to more than 110,000 customers in Orleans Parish, Louisiana.
Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans are subsidiaries of Entergy Corporation, a Fortune 500 electric company. Entergy powers life for 3 million customers through our operating companies in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. We’re investing in the reliability and resilience of the energy system while helping our region transition to cleaner, more efficient energy solutions. With roots in our communities for more than 100 years, Entergy is a nationally recognized leader in sustainability and corporate citizenship. Since 2018, we have delivered more than $100 million in economic benefits each year to local communities through philanthropy, volunteerism and advocacy. Entergy is headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, and has approximately 12,000 employees. For the latest news from Entergy, visit the Newsroom.