Case Study

After the Storm: How Industry and Government Joined Forces to Restore Power

After the Storm: How Industry and Government Joined Forces to Restore Power

Imagine life without electricity. From our heating and cooling systems to electronics and refrigerators, we have come to depend on the power grid to such an extent that we rarely build contingency plans.

Dating back to 1950, investor-owned electric companies have come together at the regional level to provide mutual assistance during times of disruption. Superstorm Sandy, with its impact on 24 states and as many as 10 million customers in 2012, challenged the industry and government to look for ways to enhance power restoration support and thus improve public safety by accelerating the response and reducing potential economic consequences. The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) responded with the nationally-focused Mutual Assistance Network, a voluntary partnership of more than 100 investor-owned electric companies across the U.S. and Canada that are committed to helping restore power when assistance is needed by working directly with communities and government agencies.

The government plays a critical role in helping communities respond to natural disasters, but when it comes to a service as fundamental as electricity, it is the industry itself that is on the front lines of response. This has become particularly important as the number of catastrophes around the world has increased steadily over the past 40 years.

I know first-hand from my years of handling storm response for Con Edison, mutual assistance is a cornerstone of electric company operations during emergencies and is essential to contingency planning.

— Carlos D. Torres, Consultant, EEI, Power Restoration Coordination, Puerto Rico

Did you know?

10 million customers lost power across 24 states in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, and parts of the Midwest during Superstorm Sandy.

Participating Organizations

Edison Electric Institute (EEI)