Our number one job is keeping lights on, but when severe weather and natural disasters strike, our focus shifts to getting power restored to our customers as quickly and safely as possible.

One way we do that is by deploying our Storm Trailers and Mobile Command Center. Usually before the storm even hits, we are staging crews and support, including our mobile units, in the area that is predicted to receive the most severe weather, and therefore the most outages. 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.

While the storm trailers contain tools, parts and other items crews need to make necessary repairs, the third vehicle has a different purpose. The mobile command center vehicle is loaded with technology to help the crews work more efficiently and restore power faster. The 30 ft long and 8ft wide vehicle has both a cellular and satellite modem, and three television monitors. It also has an 800 MHz radio in case other communication channels aren’t working.

The command center can alert crews to where the power is out and where workers are restoring power. It also has a plotter and printer, five desktop monitors and 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.

In response to the tornadoes that swept through Kalamazoo, Branch and St. Joseph counties Tuesday night, we established a Mobile Command Center in Portage, and more than 175 crews are working around the clock, in 16-hour shifts, to bring power back as quickly and safely as possible.

“We share the frustration of our customers in Branch, St. Joseph and Kalamazoo counties who endured a devastating storm, and we’re committed to restoring their power as quickly and safely as possible,” said Norm Kapala, one of our Officers in Charge for restoration. “Damage caused by last night’s devastating storms was significant, which makes restoration more complex. We expect most customers will see their power restored by the end of today.”

Customers can report their outage and get restoration information by visiting ConsumersEnergy.com/outage.

Related blogs:

Crews Restoring Power, Supporting Customers in Wake of Tornadoes

Weathering Spring Storms Safely

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