JCP&L, which came under heavy criticism for a lack of accurate information during Hurricane Sandy power restoration efforts, has unveiled a plan for better communication with towns during large outages.

JCP+L crew works during the Nor'easter that followed Sandy.  (JCP+L)

The utility's plan according to a press release, will:

  • provide municipalities with maps showing electrical circuit routes in their communities
  • establish a JCP&L liaison in company field offices for local officials
  • host targeted teleconference briefings for municipal officials about localized restoration work
  • deploy additional company personnel to work with municipal representatives
  •  participate in community advisory board meetings with county and municipal leaders and emergency agencies to outline the company's restoration procedures.


The company says they are also designing an iPhone and Android app that will provide better account access, a view of the JCP&L outage map and the ability to report an outage.Customers will also be able to  receive account and outage information via text or email.

JCP&L will also work to improve its online outage map with more detail about outages and clearer information. These improvements will be phased in during the year.

"We are committed to continuous improvement for our customers and welcome the opportunity to work with state, county and municipal officials over the next several months as we implement these new practices," said Don Lynch, president of JCP&L in a statement. "These enhancements, which are based on feedback from customers and municipal officials following Hurricane Sandy, are designed to provide more outreach and collaboration to elected officials and customers about the company's restoration process and priorities on a community by community basis."

Tinton Falls Mayor Michael Skudera, a vocal critic of JCP&L during Sandy restoration efforts, told the Star Ledger the plan is a "good first step" but is also concerned about improvements to the infrastructure. "I want to see how they’re going to upgrade their aging infrastructure over the next few years," he said.