Advancing Clean Energy

Getting the power back on after storms

October 3, 2019

When severe weather is on the radar, ComEd starts to prepare for possible power outages long before they occur. Here’s what you should know about how the company prepares for and responds to storms: 

Before the storm:

ComEd weather professionals analyze the forecast 24/7. When severe weather nears, ComEd staffs up key positions, such as lineworkers, dispatchers and call takers. ComEd may open its Emergency Operations Center along with 12 other storm rooms to coordinate the restoration effort depending on the storm severity and number of outages. Hundreds of employees are pulled out of their day-to-day jobs, including on holidays and weekends, to join the preparation effort.

During and after the storm:

As soon as conditions are safe, ComEd sends teams out to assess the damage caused by the storm. New outages may occur well after a storm leaves the area, as weakened trees and branches fall on powerlines or heavy ice and snow weighs on equipment. If customers see a truck leaving their neighborhood before the power is back on, it’s important to know that crews are still evaluating the damage to determine the needed repairs.

Crews are dispatched to damaged areas and first restore service to the largest number of customers through switching and by repairing high-voltage transmission lines and substations. ComEd also gives priority to facilities that are critical to public health and safety, including hospitals, police and fire stations, water reclamation plants and communication systems.

After that, crews make repairs to equipment that will return service to the largest number of customers in the least amount of time, including high-density housing projects and large neighborhoods.

Finally, crews restore power red to smaller neighborhoods and individual customers. ComEd continues its storm response until every storm-related outage is restored.

Reporting outages:

Customers should contact ComEd immediately if they experience a power outage or have a safety concern. There are many ways to report an outage:

  • Text: Text OUT to 26633 (COMED) to report an outage and receive restoration information about when power may be restored.
  • Phone: Call 1-800 EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661). Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).
  • Mobile app: Download the ComEd mobile app for iPhone and Android® smart phones.
  • Online: Go to