The service territory of Con Edison’s regulated utility companies can be affected by severe winter weather that includes blizzards, ice storms, heavy wind-driven snows, and intervals of frigid temperatures. In addition to service disruptions, winter weather presents added challenges to service restoration because roads may be blocked by deep snow, and icy conditions may add to the difficulties of travel.
Both Con Edison of New York and Orange and Rockland have well-developed contingency plans for responding to winter weather events and mounting timely responses to service interruptions. If there are storm forecasts that suggest the possibility of general service disruptions, the company convenes a Corporate Emergency Response Command (CERC) protocol. Field crews are placed on notice, and arrangements are made to support them for extended repair operations. At the same time, Web alerts and media advisories are issued to warn customers of possible service outages, and these are maintained throughout the storm and subsequent recovery.
All company employees report to their assigned locations to directly or indirectly participate in preparation for around the clock service repair and restoration work in response to major winter storms. The first-response organizations within the company are ramped up and ready to make repairs to storm-related outages. Administrative support personnel are shifted from their normal duties to storm-support work.
Overhead line crews may be supplemented by contractor line and tree crews, underground line crews and gas department crews, all of whom will be working to help provide access to equipment damaged in the storm. Emergency preparedness planners also consult with neighboring utilities about the storm’s impact and discuss preparations with the various mutual-aid organizations to which the company belongs.
Communications are maintained using company websites that feature outage maps, and media advisories keep customers updated on restoration progress.