Emergency Planning & Storm Response 101

Emergency Planning & Storm Response 101

August 4, 2020 | Online :: Central Time

As the frequency and severity of storms has impacted Utility Budgets as never before, plus, now with the COVID-19, Emergency Planners are under incredible pressure to gain SAIDI & SAIFI numbers rarely obtained consistently before.   “Tropical Storm Cristobal became the earliest occurrence of a third named system in the Atlantic basin during any hurricane season in recorded history,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. The previous record was set during the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season.

As the Aging Utility Workforce has combined with these pressures, new Emergency Personnel are being placed into ‘grey sky’ roles and ‘blue sky’ staff are being recruited for grey sky duties.   Training of these new diverse teams across all utility functions has become more complex.

This Live Online Interactive Course Instructed by the EP Team at ComEd/Exelon is designed to provide Utility Emergency Managers with proven tutorials and lessons learned.   Broken into three segments, the Course covers:

  • Planning and recovery basics A-Z, plus continuous improvement techniques
  • The role and usage of external recovery resources, when and how to employ these resources and stand them down
  • A Q&A session including attendees and instructors discussing their current pressures plus how they see their own duties and best practices for recoveries

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain a comprehensive overview of emergency planning and storm response
  • Discover best practices as developed over time and implemented
  • Review how to prepare for an emergency situation, use hour by hour checklists, how to staff, materials resourcing, logistics and communications during the event
  • Explore how OMS, EMS, DMS technologies can be best utilized to guide the emergency response, what are these technologies and how they play a key role
  • Evaluate the response via post-event reporting
  • Hear from an outside line contractor who was also an emergency manager on the use of exterior resources beyond mutual aid resources
  • Engage in an interactive session with questions and answers from instructors and attendees


Tuesday, August 4, 2020 – Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 am :: Log In

9:00 am – 3:30 pm :: Course Timing

12:00 – 1:00 pm :: Lunch Break

Session I, Emergency Planning & Recovery, the Full Process

Why Plan for a Storm/Emergency? Because You Cannot Prevent One…

  • Restoration will never be perfect, but to do your best, you must prepare
  • Restoration can make or break a utility and its executives

Planning on a Clear (Blue Sky) Day

  • What is your worst case scenario?
  • Who are you partners?
  • Line/Vegetation/Engineering
  • Food/Lodging, crew care
  • Storm drill – What does it look like?
  • Review the Incident Command System (ICS)

Planning as the Storm Approaches

  • Weather services
  • Determining crew needs
  • What to do’s
  • 120 – 24 hour ahead checklists

During the Storm

  • Determine staffing for coverage
  • Determine rules of work
  • Staff with key people
  • Sample ideas

Damage Assessment

  • Why & Who?
    • Predictive
    • Statistical
    • Pole by pole


  • OMS plays a role, a key role

Communication with Customers

  • Partner with the emergency operations center (EOCs)
  • Provide “estimated times of restoration”
  • Methods

After the Storm

  • Performance assessment
  • SAIDI & SAIFI numbers crunching
  • What does a continuous improvement program look like and act

Session II, the Role of External Resources to aid Utilities in Emergency Recovery

  • Jim Salmon, Retired Manager of Emergency Planning & Response, Avangrid and Vice President Utility Relations, Holland Power Services

Session III, Current Pressures, Best Practice, Lessons Learned and Questions for Utility Emergency Professionals, An Interactive Discussion

  • The experienced emergency managers and attendees come together for an open discussion and to further create networks of managers


Stan Fabinski, Director, Emergency Preparedness, ComEd

Stan has been employed with ComEd/Exelon since 1982.  Before joining the Emergency Preparedness Department, Stan has held multiple positions in our Distribution Engineering, Reliability and New Business Organizations, various roles in our Transmission & Substation Organizations as well as multiple leadership roles in the Distribution Operations Regions & Operations Control Center.  As Director, Stan is responsible for oversight, development and execution of emergency preparedness and response strategies for ComEd in collaboration with our sister companies throughout Exelon.  Stan holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology from Purdue University & an MBA in Management from Keller Graduate School.

Valerie Dammann, Manager, Emergency Preparedness, ComEd

Valerie joined ComEd/Exelon in 1989.  Before joining the Emergency Preparedness Department in January of this year, Valerie has held various management positions in Work Management and has led several technical special projects and storm improvement teams.  Valerie holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Northwestern University and has a Masters in Management and an MBA from North Park University.  On her downtime, Valerie enjoys reading mystery novels and vacationing to new places.

Nathan Rold, Sr. Emergency Preparedness Administrator

Nate joined ComEd/Exelon in 2009 after an initial internship.  He began his career in the Mapping and Records Department as a GIS analyst and moved on to support the AISP Support Team as part of Mobile Dispatch Support.  Recently, Nate transitioned to Emergency Preparedness Department overseeing various technologies for the Team (ARCOS, Kittyhawk UAS Software, Advance Damage Prediction Model, oneMDS). 

Michael Clark, Sr. Emergency Preparedness Administrator

Mike began his career with ComEd/Exelon in 2009 working for our Nuclear Security Team at Dresden Nuclear Power Station and moved into Corporate Security providing governance and oversight to all 6 stations.  Mike joined the Emergency Preparedness Department in January of this year facilitating drills and exercises to ensure operational readiness of the ComEd emergency response organization.

Mike Lewkowski, Sr. Emergency Preparedness Administrator

Mike joined ComEd/Exelon in 2008 working in various departments before joining the Emergency Preparedness Team in November 2019.  Mike oversees all internal communications and is responsible for interface and support for all EP related EU/OpCo projects (non-storm related) and in helping our organization achieve its goals by building understanding and engagement between the departments.  Mike holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Illinois State University with focus on Information Technology, Contract Management, Operations Planning.

Maggie Palka, Sr. Emergency Preparedness Administrator

Maggie began her career with ComEd/Exelon in 2009. Before joining Emergency Preparedness, she has held various positions in areas such as Nuclear Operations, Care Center, and Revenue Management.  Maggie joined the Emergency Preparedness Department in the fall of 2018 and is responsible for External Communications. In this role Maggie is responsible for interface & support for all External-facing projects and building understanding and engagement with external partners in conjunction with External Affairs. 

Julia Ubaldo, Emergency Preparedness Administrator

Julia began her career with ComEd/Exelon in 1991.  She has been a member of the Emergency Preparedness Department for the past 5 years holding various roles including drills and exercises, staffing and departmental events.  Julia is currently our Lead for document control process for all ERO documents posted to the Management Model, EP Website, and internal process documents.

Jim Salmon, Vice President, Holland Power Services

Jim came up through the ranks of the utility NYSEG which is now Avangrid Utilities.   With backgrounds in Government Relations, Public Affairs and Media, he oversaw external relations for 9 years as Manager of Outreach and Development.   Moving to emergency planning, he became Director of Emergency Management responsible for emergency planning, preparedness, response, evaluation and continuous improvement at Avangrid, which includes Central Maine Power (CMP), New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E).  Jim retired from Avangrid in 2016 and took the lead utility client relations role for Holland Power Services based out of New Brunswick, Canada.

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.


Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

Event Standard RateAttendees

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