How We Restore Power

How we restore power
Severe weather is the most common cause of large-scale outages. However, a variety of factors such as wildlife contacting our equipment, vehicle accidents and trees falling on power lines can cause smaller, more localized outages at any time. While some outages can be restored in just a few minutes, others that require more extensive repairs could take several hours to restore.


In the event of widespread outages due to severe weather, power is restored according to the restoration process below.

Restoring Power After a Storm

How FirstEnergy Prepares for Storms

How we prepare for storms

When severe weather is forecast by our company meteorologists, we activate formal readiness plans to ensure we’re ready to tackle the damage. This may include staffing additional line workers, dispatchers, damage assessors, hazard responders, customer service staff and more.

Depending on the magnitude of the storm, there could be hundreds or even thousands of damage locations that need to be addressed, so this process can be lengthy.


Assessing Storm Damage

Assess storm damage

Once a storm has passed, damage assessors, typically experienced engineers or flight operators with drones or helicopters, are sent into the field to analyze damage and report back critical on-site information. This work, which could take multiple days when the damage is significant, helps us determine the required resources, establish repair plans and develop estimated restoration times.

During this time, forestry crews and tree contractors also work to clear tree damage so that line crews can make repairs and restore power in some areas.

Once hazard locations have been identified, analyzed and cleared for line crews, line workers follow an established protocol to restore power to customers as quickly and safely as possible.


Prioritizing Restoration Work

When outages are widespread, restoring power to all customers at the same time may not be possible. Our restoration process helps to keep the public safe while crews quickly work to get customers back up and running.

  1. Isolate hazards and make safe
  2. Repair high-voltage lines/restore essential functions
  3. Restore hospitals and other critical medical facilities, police and fire departments, and 911 facilities
  4. Repair main feeder/distribution lines
  5. Restore areas with largest number of customers
  6. Restore individual homes
Power Distribution

Mobilizing Additional Crews

Outage Crew

Local crews are well equipped to handle less-extensive storm damage in their own areas. For more widespread outages, we can call on employees from surrounding service centers or bring in crews from other FirstEnergy electric companies. If a storm is especially severe, we may also supplement our own crews with local contractors or request workers from neighboring electric companies through mutual assistance relationships.