WASHINGTON, March 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Superstorm Sandy hit the United States in October 2012 and brought with it extensive destruction across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Throughout the storm and for months following, natural gas utility companies worked to help ensure those affected by Sandy were able to safely rely on natural gas for their home energy needs. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130301/DE68950 ) Among the utilities which provided mutual aid assistance was Michigan's Consumers Energy. For the first time in its 125 year history, the utility sent gas work crews out of state to assist with the restoration of natural gas service. The company released approximately 25 employees who worked with National Grid in several areas near New York City for about two weeks. "Consumers Energy strongly supports mutual assistance and utilities helping each other in times of need. Superstorm Sandy's destruction was unparalleled and we were pleased we could provide assistance in New York," said Dan Malone, senior vice president of distribution and customer operations at Consumers Energy. "While helping others when needed, we continue to sharpen our readiness to respond to natural crises and emergency needs in our home state of Michigan." Consumers Energy participates in the American Gas Association's mutual assistance program for unprecedented disasters requiring the dedication of response, recovery and restoration resources outside the limits of existing local, state and regional mutual assistance programs. In preparation for Hurricane Sandy, and in its aftermath, Consumers Energy was one of more than 20 natural gas utilities that participated in daily calls to offer assistance and guidance to utilities and safety officials in the communities where natural gas service had been interrupted.