"We've been hard at work and are better prepared to respond to large-scale emergencies today." That's the message CL&P Senior Vice President of Emergency Preparedness Bill Quinlan delivered this morning to an audience of approximately 180 state and municipal officials and emergency preparedness leaders during the American Red Cross/CL&P Emergency Preparedness Summit held at CL&P headquarters in Berlin.

Summit attendees heard updates regarding CL&P's numerous emergency response initiatives to improve many facets of its emergency preparedness and responsiveness. "Our objective is to become a recognized industry leader and trusted partner in emergency preparedness and response," said Quinlan. "That means preparing for and responding to emergencies in a manner that meets or exceeds the expectations of our customers."

Among the many steps CL&P has taken to significantly improve emergency preparedness:
  • Establishment of an Emergency Preparedness organization based on industry best practices and formation of a project management organization to execute the action plan.
  • Creation of an Infrastructure Hardening organization to improve electric system resiliency and develop initiatives to reduce system vulnerability to outages. In July, CL&P will file with state regulators a proposed plan that will include proposals for additional tree trimming and certain distribution system equipment upgrades.
  • Revising the company Emergency Response Plan and procedures to cover significantly larger events.
  • CL&P is partnering with industry and academic subject matter experts in developing a forecasting tool that will help predict the type of damage we might expect.
  • CL&P is currently participating in several task forces, including one currently evaluating improvements to the "make-safe initiative" and the statewide vegetation management task force.
  • Creating partnerships with municipalities, state agencies and other utilities to improve regional coordination. CL&P continues to receive feedback from municipalities across its service territory following a series of regional meetings and has completed individual meetings with each of the 149 towns and cities it serves. CL&P is also actively working with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities and the Council of Small Towns to strengthen those relationships.
  • Strengthening CL&P's town liaison program through increased training for the liaisons and the implementation of software programs that enable the liaisons to deliver higher quality information to the municipalities. These include contractor crew vehicle tracking, GIS-based circuit overlays on town maps including critical facility locations, town liaison outage maps and town-specific outage reports. CL&P also plans to implement an electronic damage assessment process and computer "dashboards" reflecting the status of pre-identified critical facilities in each town.
  • Significantly enhancing CL&P's tree trimming program; spending $53.5 million in 2012, an increase of approximately $27 million over 2011.

"Everyone who attended today's summit has a common goal - to make sure all of Connecticut is ready," added Quinlan. "CL&P is committed to doing its part by refining our policies, developing new technologies and enhancing our training programs. We're helping to create a foundation for excellence in the field of emergency preparedness."

The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) has been part of everyday life in Connecticut for more than 100 years, providing safe and reliable electric service to homes, neighborhoods and businesses. With 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns, CL&P is improving the environments you live in, by offering programs in energy conservation, economic development and environmental stewardship. CL&P is a Northeast Utilities company (NYSE: NU). For more information, please visit www.cl-p.com , like us on Facebook at facebook.com/CTLightandPower and follow us on Twitter @CTLightandPower .

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