Supporting Customers

Weathering the Storm

March 15, 2024

Your cell phone suddenly begins to ring and vibrate alerting you of inclement weather conditions and advising you to take shelter immediately. But you’re home safe and sound, cozied up streaming your favorite show, expecting brief to no power interruptions – a benefit of living in northern Illinois, a region served by ComEd, the nation’s most reliable electric utility. This experience, shared by many of the nine million residents in the region, is by no accident.

“ComEd goes to many lengths to ensure customers can count on either no outages, outages that are short duration, or if sustained outages occur, that customers are kept up to speed on restoration efforts,” said Stan Fabinski, director of emergency preparedness for ComEd. “Though the weather can be unpredictable and sudden, ComEd keeps a close eye on approaching weather systems that could pose a threat to our electric grid and relies on a carefully put-together Emergency Preparedness plan to ensure customers are well taken care of in their hour of need.”

This ongoing storm preparation is yielding national recognition, with ComEd’s storm programs standing out among its peers. Chartwell, a utility-focused research organization, recognized ComEd with three awards for outstanding outage management in 2023 including Gold in Emergency Management for ComEd’s Operation Power Play – a state-wide event that brings together key response agencies to prepare for catastrophic events. What’s more – in 2023, 85 percent of customers who experienced an outage caused by storms had their power restored within 24 hours.

As severe weather becomes more frequent and intense, preparing for these conditions remains top of mind for ComEd’s Emergency Preparedness teams, who in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory, have kicked off a climate study to better understand the impacts of climate change on the power grid. Learn how ComEd prepares for storms and works to limit the weather’s impact on not only the power grid but also our communities:


While the sky still looks unassuming, ComEd assembles equipment and crews to quickly respond to any power outages. Customers will begin to see alert banners (constantly updated throughout the duration of the storm) on ComEd’s home webpage and the mobile app informing them of the type of storm coming, the areas expected to be impacted, and how to prepare. Customers are also reminded via various communication channels, including the mainstream and social media, that crews are prepared to jump into action as soon as it’s safe to do so, and that critical facilities, like police and fire stations, nursing homes, and hospitals, will be served first, followed by those outages that will restore the greatest number of customers.

Storm Time

As the storm approaches, customers are cautioned to never approach a downed power line (it could still be energized and be extremely dangerous), please report any downed power lines via social media or 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661), and contact ComEd if they are experiencing an outage. ComEd crews are deployed when customers report service interruptions, and since every storm is different, it’s difficult to say how long the outage will last. After restoring any critical facilities, customers can expect ComEd crews to arrive on the scene and begin restoring their power as soon as it’s safe. During this time, customers can check on the status of restoration efforts in their area on ComEd’s Outage Map.



Storm Ends

The clouds may have parted, but making repairs to damage caused by the storm may require crews to take power down temporarily for some customers. ComEd works to ensure that, throughout this uneasy experience, customers are provided the most up-to-date estimated time of restoration (ETR), the cause for their specific outage, and the status of their power restoration. Customers can check their outage status and enroll in outage alerts by logging onto their ComEd account or via the ComEd mobile app.



Most electricity is expected to be restored within 48 hours of the start of the storm, though in extreme weather events, there may be a few people still without power – understandably, a time of high frustration. In these scenarios, customers can expect personal assistance and updates on their home’s ETRs with outage alerts received via text/SMS, email, voice calls, and mobile app push notifications.



Restoration Complete

A huge sigh of relief is let out by both customers and our crews at the completion of the last restoration. ComEd always appreciates the patience of its customers and the hard work from its employees to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible.

The health and safety of customers and employees is ComEd’s top priority. Working together to ensure prompt restoration and open lines of communication is key to delivering award-winning reliability, even in the worst weather conditions. Learn more about how to prepare ahead of extreme weather events here. If you experience an outage this upcoming storm season, access resources and report an outage here.