Caring and Sharing on Four WheelsMarch 15, 2018
When ComEd crews are restoring power to storm-ravaged communities, the company often dispatches its solar-powered Community Care Vans to comfort customers.
“I love working on the Care Vans because it gives me an opportunity to support our customers in person,” says Diana Fiket, a senior business project manager in the ComEd Care Center. “Whether it’s offering them a chair to sit down and relax, giving them a place to charge their cell phone or even an ear to listen to their story, it makes me feel good to help.”
Three of ComEd’s four Community Care Vans are powered by solar panels on the roof. The solar panels charge the batteries in the vans so that they can drive in rain or shine. When the solar-powered battery runs low, the vans run on gas.
The vans support ComEd crews who are out restoring power and provide relief and information to ComEd customers whose electricity has been impacted by severe weather. Van staff distribute bottled water and provide phone charging stations and outage restoration times to customers.
The Community Care Vans made their debut in June 2015 to provide relief and information services to residents of Coal City, Ill., and Dixon, Ill., who were affected by fast-moving storms that produced hail, heavy rains, high winds and tornadoes.
“The people of Coal City were so grateful that we were there to provide them with information,” says Diana, who has been with the program since it started.
Diana says compassion and understanding are two traits that a ComEd Care Van driver should keep top of mind.
“Customers are worried about their homes, and we are there to reassure them that ComEd is on the job and that everything will be OK,” she says.
If the vans are not needed to help customers during storms, they are dispatched to community events in the ComEd service area to educate customers about energy efficiency and how to use convenient self-service options such as the ComEd mobile app or ComEd’s Twitter Outage Reporting app to alert ComEd when the power goes out.