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At the 2019 E Source Forum, we interviewed some of our session speakers about key points in their presentations.

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In recent years, we’ve seen devastating wildfires in the western US, a polar vortex and tragic flooding in the Midwest, and increasingly powerful hurricanes in the Southeast, mid-Atlantic, and Gulf Coast regions. These events put utilities’ operations and communications functions to the test, and there’s always something to learn in their aftermath. In this session, we learned the biggest takeaways from ComEd’s communications and operations teams throughout the January 2019 polar vortex that brought some of the coldest temperatures Chicago has ever seen.

After the session, we asked Sabrina Potirala, manager of digital business at ComEd, and Rebecca Sheperd, senior emergency preparedness administrator at ComEd, a few questions about their presentations. Check out their video responses below. And if you’re an E Source member, visit the E Source Forum 2019 page to download the presentation.

Sabrina Potirala, manager of digital business, ComEd

Our questions for Potirala:

  • What were some communication techniques that worked well during the recent polar vortex? (0:11)
  • How do you see using social media and other technology for weather-related events in the future? (1:46)
  • If you could build a combined communications and operations system from scratch, how would you do it? What would you include? (2:35)
  • How do you train your social media team, keeping in mind the company’s brand/voice/etc.? (3:29)

Rebecca Sheperd, senior emergency preparedness administrator, ComEd

Our questions for Sheperd:

  • How were you communicating with customers leading up to the polar vortex? (0:11)
  • What kind of preparation and training do you give to employees leading up to these types of events? (1:05)
  • What advice would you give to other utilities when planning their emergency operations for the future? (2:05)