Metropolitan Edison Co., a unit of FirstEnergy Corp., will conduct two emergency readiness exercises in late March and early April to review the company's storm restoration process.
The first event will be held on March 31 and will focus on Met-Ed's western areas, including York, Lebanon, Hamburg, Dillsburg, Gettysburg and Hanover. The second exercise will be held on April 7 and will focus on Met-Ed's eastern area, including Reading, Boyertown, Easton and Stroudsburg.
About 100 company employees from the operations, engineering, communications, external affairs, customer support, facilities and planning & analysis groups will be involved in the exercises, which will be held at Met-Ed's Distribution Control Center in Reading, with participating Met-Ed employees also staged at the company's service centers in York, Lebanon, Easton and Reading.
"FirstEnergy's storm restoration process has been recognized numerous times over the years by electric industry organizations for its effectiveness, and the goal of these training exercises is to make our response efforts even better," said Ed Shuttleworth, regional president of Met-Ed. "The drills provide opportunities for our employees to sharpen their skills as we head into the spring and summer storm season. Along with our ongoing infrastructure enhancements, these exercises are another way we enhance service reliability for our customers."
A team of FirstEnergy and Met-Ed employees has been preparing for weeks to conduct the drills, which will roughly follow the same time schedule and outage totals as an actual storm that occurred in the past. Storm drills are becoming more common in the utility industry in the wake of severe weather over the last several years.
Met-Ed serves about 560,000 customers in 15 Pennsylvania counties.