According to the National Climatic Data Center and the US Department of Commerce, the United States has experienced 170 weather disasters since 1980, incurring a total damage cost of over $1 trillion. The frequency and severity of these events is expected to increase with climate change and related effects, while local and international inter-connectedness of the grid imposes a growing danger of cascading effects.

Severe weather has been plaguing utility companies and disrupting customer service since the advent of the centralized electrical distribution grid, and the importance of the utility's response to these events is only increasing as customers' reliance on electricity grows and regulators are becoming ever more demanding of grid stability, safety, and customer service.

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