SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS – The Black Box of Incident Management

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Thanks to the use of social media during incidents, we have a running account of communications from events to review after the fact. If done properly, client communication is critical and important not only as a form of customer service but also as a black box to study after the incident. Below is the chronological series of posts from Douglas Electric Cooperative as they posted updates on the night of the storm. The full transcript of their posts are available online at – I encourage you all to read it. It’s a real-world example of fantastic reporting to customers as you deal with their service outage.

5:18 pm – February 24
We are currently experiencing outages in the Melrose, Yoncalla and Scotts Valley areas of our service territory. Crews have been dispatched to all areas. In north county, damage caused by trees falling through the power lines will take approximately three additional hours to repair. The extent of damage and time of restoration in Melrose and related areas has yet to be determined. Anyone without power is encouraged to call 1-888-420-8826.
More updates as we make progress. Thank you for helping us get the word out!

6:15 pm – February 24
We have just lost the Lookingglass feeder and the total members without power is now 1,600. We are still hoping to restore power in the north county area around 8:00 pm, but damage (broken poles) in the Melrose area is making it difficult to give a time.
I will provide more information as it becomes available.

7:15 pm – February 24
We have just lost Scottsburg as the number of members without power is now 2,000. Regardless of where outages may be, consumers should make preparations to be without power late into the evening… if not all evening. Crews are working as safely and efficiently as they can, but the weather continues to cause additional outages for both us and Pacific Power.

I will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

8:00 pm – February 24
Just to recap…
There are a total of over 2,200 members without power in the Lookingglass, Melrose, Umpqua, Yoncalla, Scottsburg, and Elkton areas. Crews are doing their best to keep up but power may be out for many areas throughout the night. We will do our best to keep you updated as information becomes available. We encourage members who are without power, to please call 1-888-420-8826.
Thanks again for your efforts as well!

9:00 pm – February 24
There are now over 4,800 members without power throughout the Douglas Electric system but primarily those affected are north and west of Roseburg. Crews are working as quickly and safely as they can to get power restored but the weather conditions are only making things worse. Tree trimming crews have been called in to assist with clearing downed trees, allowing our line crews access to the affected areas. Many roads are becoming impassable.
Members need to prepare to be without power through the evening. If our consumers are without power or would like updated information, we encourage them to call 1-888-420-8826.
We thank everyone for their patience… and you for helping us keep our members informed.

11:15 pm – February 24 – This will be the last update of the evening.
Essentially we have a system-wide outage, and with the exception of our members on the coast, there are approximately 8,700 folks without electricity. If you include Pacific Power, there are about 25,000 consumers without power in Douglas County.
We have engaged some of our contract right-of-way crews, and additional resources will be on hand in the morning. In the meantime, our crews continue to work as long as it is safe to do so.
Again, we encourage our members to be on the safe side and prepare to be without power through the evening, into tomorrow and possibly longer. As the weather turns to rain, conditions will remain difficult as crews continue efforts to restore power. For outage information as it is available, we encourage members to call 1-888-420-8826 or visit our website at
We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.

The full transcript of their posts up to 10:30am – Friday March 22, 2019, nearly a full month since the day of the storm are available online at

We asked Keith Brooks, General Manager of Douglas Electric Cooperative about the process behind the posts and here is what he sent back.  

“Todd Munsey,  our member service manager posted at least twice a day.  We had a morning and afternoon meeting which included key players from operations, member services, Myself and Phil Bigler who is the assistant GM. We would get a status update and come up with a message.  He would issue a press release, update our social media and website.  Phil would respond to Facebook questions at least once a day.  the maps were and restoration times were approved by operations manager.  On top of that, we did numerous television and radio interviews, as well as community meetings. “

Remembering Douglas County’s Snowmageddon – 1 year later.

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Social Media Posts 
 – The Black Box of Incident Management
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