STANHOPE BOROUGH, NJ --- John Anderson of Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) attended the October 23 borough council meeting.
Anderson held a brief presentation on what JCP&L has been working on since Hurricane Irene struck last year with such strong force leaving thousands of people without power, and even killing dozens.
“I saw an article that says we are going to have a terrible storm Sunday night?” asked mayor Rosemarie Maio.
“Fifty thousand customers are served in the Northern [New Jersey] region,” stated Anderson. “The biggest issue I noticed last year was poor communication. I feel like a lot of people in my town we’re really let down because we couldn’t give a response in a timely fashion.”
Anderson explained n the new improvements JCP&L has for Hurricane Sandy, the upcoming storm that has already declared New Jersey with a State of Emergency, school closings, and evacuation precautions before it has even started.
“We group things by zip code,” said Anderson. “We programmed the site to only group by town now. This can be accessed 24/7 from a computer or Smartphone. You can go to the website and report an outage instantaneously in the system.”
All of the JCP&L trucks now have laptops in them, and the company is in the process of making sure every truck will have the same technology.
“The entire computer system should be completed by 2014,” stated Anderson, who then explained some brand new information.“We have gone strictly to an email system, also, the part that I am more pleased with is that we are out here. We are communicating with the municipalities and power company.”
Anderson also explained the demographics of social media which JCP&L now uses by "liking" the company on Facebook and also, following it on its Twitter page.
“It is a meaning of communication and to cater to people,” said Anderson.
Councilwoman, Diana Kuncken was previously the Mayor during Hurricane Irene.
“The most frustrating thing about those conference calls was inaccurate information,” Kuncken said. “I’d be told one thing in the morning and by afternoon, it would change. It was very frustrating to find out exactly where the power was out.”
“My electricity was out for six and a half days last year,” councilman James Benson stated, “I got to know my wife a lot over that time,” he said joking with the council and public.
“Based on the training of the crew, they have different levels of training and dictates what they can do and cannot do,” explained Anderson, “Everyone was concerned from a safety perspective, it was difficult to track where every single crew was.”
Anderson’s biggest concern for Hurricane Sandy was, “I don’t want any of my town to feel like they have been left in the dark.”
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