National Preparedness Month: Storm PlanningHow FirstEnergy Prepares Ahead of Severe Weather
Each September, the United States observes National Preparedness Month to emphasize the importance of preparing for all types of disasters before they strike. By having a practiced plan in place, families can take comfort in knowing they are prepared and ready for any emergency.
Like households across the county, FirstEnergy also spends time and resources to ensure we’re ready to weather any storm, quite literally. While we continually maintain and invest in the electric grid to deliver reliable service to our customers, storms that bring damaging winds, heavy precipitation and lightning still have the potential to impact our electrical system. From constantly monitoring the weather so we are ready to respond to storm-related outages to staging crews and equipment when inclement weather is expected, FirstEnergy takes many steps to help minimize the time customers are impacted when outages occur.
Preparing Ahead of a Storm
When severe weather is forecast, FirstEnergy activates formal readiness plans to ensure plenty of service crews are prepared to tackle the damage. Depending on the severity of the weather expected, this may include staffing additional line workers, dispatchers, damage assessors, hazard responders, customer service staff and more.
Since we take an all-hands-on-deck approach to storm restoration, employees within the company prepare to take on storm roles that are not part of their everyday responsibilities. For example, our meter readers and meter services employees may turn into hazard responders during a storm to protect the public and provid on-site damage information.
We may also supplement our own crews with local contractors or request workers from neighboring electric companies through mutual assistance relationships when the weather is especially severe.
In areas where the damage is expected to be the greatest, FirstEnergy often establishes staging sites, a central point for dispatching crews which allows them to travel to and from damage locations more quickly. All of the crews will work 16 hours shifts, around the clock with a break for meals, to ensure power is restored as efficiently as possible.
Keeping You Informed
When a significant storm is likely to impact a large portion of our service area, you can count on us to share weather warnings and outage updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can also stay informed on the storm restoration process by signing up to receive text and email alerts at firstenergycorp.com/connect.
Check back all month as we provide more insight into our storm plan and offer tips to create your own!