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JCP&L: We'll Improve Communication With Towns During Storms

Utility company lists communication enhancements

Jersey Central Power and Light is saying that it will improve its communication with towns during "significant storm events," after the utility company was criticized by many municipal officials after Hurricane Sandy.

JCP&L announced new practices and upcoming technology improvements at meetings on Jan. 3 in Eatontown and Morristown with members of the League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the New Jersey State Police.

A news release from JCP&L states that the communication enhancements will include:

  • Providing municipalities with maps showing electrical circuit routes in their communities;
  • Locating JCP&L municipal liaisons in company field offices to maintain contact with local officials;
  • Hosting targeted teleconference briefings for municipal officials about localized restoration work;
  • Deploying additional company personnel to work with municipal representatives;
  • Training county and municipal first responders on electrical safety;
  • Participating in community advisory board meetings with county and municipal leaders and emergency agencies to outline the company's restoration procedures;

"We are committed to continuous improvement for our customers and welcome the opportunity to work with state, county and municipal officials over the next several months as we implement these new practices," JCP&L President Don Lynch said in the release.

"These enhancements, which are based on feedback from customers and municipal officials following Hurricane Sandy, are designed to provide more outreach and collaboration to elected officials and customers about the company's restoration process and priorities on a community by community basis."

JCP&L said it is also developing several mobile technology tools to help customers report outages and access information about their electric account.

"This month, the company will launch a new customer app that can be downloaded to Apple or Android smartphones," the JCP&L release states. "The app will make it easier for customers to report a power outage, view the company's 24/7 Power Center maps, or access their JCP&L accounts from a mobile device. The app will be similar to the company's new mobile website, which is available now by visiting www.jcp-l.com from a smartphone."

The release also states that the ability for its customers to receive outage or account information via text message or email are under development and should be available later this year.

Improvements also are being made to JCP&L's 24/7 Power Center, "including a greater level of detail about power outages, and redesigning content to ensure customers can find the information they need before, during and after a major storm."

Missing Brick January 07, 2013 at 04:04 PM
JCP&L's lack of organization and communication made my post-Sandy experience all the worse. They hid behind half-truths and simple denials and then billed us as if nothing happened. I hope Christie holds their feet to the fire and if you were effected as I were, at the very least sign the petition for reparations. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/jcpl_sandyreparations/signatures MB
none of yobusiness January 08, 2013 at 02:08 AM
They said the same BS after Irene.
clamdigger January 08, 2013 at 03:49 AM
Sandy was their opportunity to step up and keep the public informed truthfully and accurately but they blew that chance, now they want people to believe things will be different in the future,what a joke. My thoughts through the whole outage was that they were afraid to tell the public how bad things really were with the damages in fear it would create more problems publicly. Maybe they were told by the gov't to keep things quiet on the extent of the damage to prevent more problems w/ the public, keep the people guessing, feed them just enough info to keep them complacent by only giving vague details when necessary. It was 5-6 days after the storm that a rumor floated through our neighborhood that the main problem for our area was the substation serving our area was located in Point Pleasant and was submerged under water and could not be restored. Never found out if that was true or not.
Missing Brick January 08, 2013 at 03:57 AM
I have this funny feeling they did not KNOW how bad it was and used the feeble excuses to disguise their own inability to access the damage of their antiquated network.
clamdigger January 08, 2013 at 04:09 AM
That too......good point!

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