When you have miles and miles and millions of dollars in critical infrastructure to protect, it’s impossible to monitor every foot 100 percent of the time. So, every day, you’re faced with deciding where to dispatch a limited number of workers to oversee the highest-risk threats. To make that determination accurately, you need visibility — into the activities and risks around your assets — and a way to gauge their threat level and proximity to critical facilities. You can do this by having workers on-site 24/7 at every mile of your assets or trusting Irth to aid your team.
Visibility: What activities around your assets pose a potential threat
The first step in critical infrastructure risk assessment is to better understand the activities around your assets. If you’re trying to assess how risky any threat is before rolling trucks, the right software can collect vital resources and data and easily present it at your fingertips, including:
- Accurate and complete 811 ticket details, including excavating company, date, project plans, and more
- Maps and precise locates
- Historical data about near misses and previous damages, locator training and performance, inspections, patrols, surveys, and more
- Photos, sketches, attachments
- Real-time updates from the field
- External threats, such as unreported excavation activity, geohazards, wildfires, soil conditions, and seismic events
- Hyper-local weather-related threats – lightning, torrential rains, high wind events, hail, etc.
- Asset condition reports – inspections, photos, field reports, photogrammetry, etc.
Enhance critical infrastructure risk assessment decision-making with other data
The more intel we can use to cross-reference these events with your assets, the better decision-makers can understand an activity’s potential impact.
For example, if GIS data indicates the asset is in an area prone to flooding, the last inspection revealed there was light corrosion, and forecasts show the area is expected to receive an unusual amount of rain over the next 48 hours, it may be advisable to send someone onsite after the rain subsides.
To avoid large scale issues, utilities must adapt to today’s ever-changing environment and take structural mitigation actions, such as creating system redundancies and repairing and strengthening pipes and structures to ensure the resilience of their networks. In addition to these efforts, FEMA encourages non-structural measures, including surveillance and monitoring programs.
Focusing on surveillance and monitoring programs is a shift from relying on institutional knowledge or gut feeling. Data-driven decision-making in risk management is now possible because of the many data points collected by utilities and the depth of external data available to subscribers. However, it’s no longer possible to make sense of this data to discern the next best step using a myriad of offline processes. You need a reliable software solution to cut through the clutter and surface insights.
Risk management software makes critical infrastructure risk assessment possible at scale
Activities and events around critical network infrastructure aren’t slowing down; it’s increasing. As more new infrastructure projects are funded by the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, dig tickets are rising. Severe weather events have risen both in frequency and severity.
With the right data – and tools – your team can build visibility into your network to mitigate risk. Utilities that have extensive infrastructures and hundreds of thousands of potential hazards, need a robust risk management software solution.
Trusted and robust risk management software makes it possible to glean insights from all the data and automate the next best action. For example, if there’s activity over a sensitive facility, risk management software can send a notification to the field before the event turns into a catastrophe, allowing field workers to take proper precautions and appropriately respond to the threats that exist.
Consolidating the data from one calls, 811 tickets, GIS, satellite data, external monitoring systems, and more, risk management software analyzes all of these events to prescribe action. Comprehensive critical infrastructure risk assessment tools should allow you to customize risk factors based on your own expertise and facility records. Additionally, software solutions that have risk scoring or give insights with AI make it even easier to understand the level of risk to then prioritize resources to the highest risk events happening around your infrastructure. Automation of notifications and alerts can streamline your team’s workflow.