You wake up to find you’re without power. It’s dark and eerily quiet in your house. Now what? First things first, make sure you report your outage and check on estimated restoration times at ConsumersEnergy.com/outage. We do our best to give you accurate estimates on that site – but it’s important to understand times might change once the extent of the damage is known, if additional severe weather occurs or if the crews assigned to your outage get called to an active emergency.  

So, back to the quiet house. As you assess the situation and make plans for your day, rest assured our crews and storm employees are already up and running – taking outage calls, protecting the public from safety hazards, setting up a command center in the hardest hit areas, and assessing damage and making plans to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.  

Let’s dive a little deeper into the work being done “behind the scenes” during storm activity. 

Customer Service 

 

In storm situations our Contact Centers are the first line of defense. They ramp up and go to “emergency only” calls to ensure we can serve those most impacted by the storm. Most calls are from customers reporting outages, but some will involve emergency situations like reporting downed wires. In some cases storms will require a need for extra shifts and overtime and our employees often willingly raise their hands to cover those shifts. Although we haven’t had a need in this storm, our CSRs – like Martez (pictured) – understand the critical role they play when a catastrophic storm hits, and they want to assist our customers. 

 

 

Wire Guards 

With safety always top of mind, one of our priorities after a storm is downed wires. We locate them, get?them secured, make the public aware and keep customers safe. During storm restoration, emergency responders like firefighters and police officers may respond to wire-down situations. Our storm team then works to get employees, known as “wire guards,” assigned to relieve the first responders. In many cases the wire guards are employees who don’t have an official storm role, so they volunteer when and where needed to support their co-workers and keep our customers safe. This week’s storm has left over 2,500 downed wires in its wake. While we’re working to secure each one, please be aware of your surroundings. If you see an unsecured downed wire, stay away and call 9-1-1 and then us to report it.  

 

Mobile Command Center

The mobile command center vehicle is loaded with technology to help the crews restore power faster. The command center can alert crews to where the power is out and where workers are restoring power. It also has a conference table which can help transform the space into a mobile conference room. This allows field leaders to be with their employees in the field and offer any information or training that might be necessary if we have out-of-state crews helping with restoration. We have two mobile command centers currently deployed in the hardest hit areas to help with storm restoration efforts.  

Storm Trailers

The storm trailers act as a one-stop-shop for the crews restoring power. The centrally located trailers help our crews get the tools and supplies they need and return to the job site, instead of having to go all the way to a Consumers Energy service center.  

In some cases, the Mobile Command Center and Storm Trailers are both in one place, other times it may just be one or the other, depending on needs. We currently have three storm trailers set up to assist crews with restoration efforts.  

 

Crews

Last but not least, our crews are spread across the state to help restore your power as quickly and safely as possible. If you are without power but don’t see any trucks in your neighborhood, that doesn’t mean they aren’t working. In some cases, the damage responsible for your outage might be miles away from your home. In many cases, our crews are working 16-hour shifts, around the clock and in hot and dangerous conditions. Because of this, they also must take mandatory rest periods. Sometimes our crews will opt to sleep in their trucks because it’s more convenient than going home. You may also see them at restaurants for a quick meal and relief from the heat. Please know they are taking a required, well-deserved and earned break and there are many others still actively restoring power during this time.  

We appreciate your patience and support as our crews work around-the-clock to restore power.

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