Commonwealth Edison’s Kimberly A. Smith, director emergency preparedness

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BATAVIA, Ill. -- What does it take to restore power to customers when severe weather hits? Get a behind-the-scenes look at ComEd’s Emergency Preparedness program and see what is required to prepare and respond when storms come through the area.

ComEd follows Tom Skilling’s weather forecasts closely, along with internal company and external meteorologist reports, to anticipate and prepare for storm conditions. When forecasts predict severe weather, the company enhances staffing of their field forces, activates their Emergency Response Organization (ERO), strategically stages materials, acquires additional crews from other sources and opens their Emergency Operations Center (EOC), regional storm centers and other support groups. Wind, ice, lightning, tornadoes, and other weather can bring down electric poles and wires directly, or via downed trees; getting the lights back on safely and quickly for customers is of highest priority. The presentation will cover some specific recent examples that illustrate ComEd’s preparation, the damage that severe weather can have on the electric grid, and the restoration efforts that follow.

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