Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) employees recently conducted a training drill to further improve the company’s service restoration process if severe weather causes wide-spread power outages in the region.
As part of the training, JCP&L tested its Incident Command System (ICS) plan in response to mock “Hurricane Sigma.” ICS is a nationally recognized and accepted emergency management process used by all levels of government – state, federal, tribal and local – as well as by many non-governmental organizations and the private sector to coordinate the response to major storms or other natural disasters. JCP&L implemented ICS in 2013.
More than 70 company employees from the Operations, Engineering, Communications, External Affairs, Customer Support, Facilities and Planning & Analysis groups participated in this training exercise, which took place May 13, 2014, at JCP&L’s Regional Dispatch Office in Red Bank, N.J. The training drill also was supported remotely by FirstEnergy employees located in the Emergency Operations Center in Akron.
“ICS has served JCP&L well during recent weather events that have impacted our service area,” said James Fakult, president of JCP&L. “The process helps provide overall coordination to help restore service more efficiently to our customers.”
A key focus areas for the drill included an emphasis on communicating estimated restoration times with communities experiencing outages due to the storm. In addition, the company focused on enhancing processes designed to open roads blocked by downed wires faster.
A team of JCP&L and FirstEnergy employees prepared for weeks for the drill. Storm drills are becoming more common in the utility industry in the wake of severe weather over the last several years. JCP&L conducts storm drills on an annual basis.
JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE). JCP&L serves 1.1 million New Jersey customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren. Follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL, or online at www.jcp-l.com.