Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

At the Aug. 28 public meeting of the Morris County Board of Freeholders, one of the new area managers for Jersey Central Power and Light briefed the board on the reorganization that has occurred recently at the utility.

Michael E. Obremski introduced himself as the liaison between the utility and the county government.  He advised the freeholders that JCP&L and its parent company, FirstEnergy, have unveiled several communication tools that make it easier for customers to get important information about their electric service on their computers or their mobile devices.

Customers can now subscribe to receive alert notifications via email or text message that contain, among other things, information about weather conditions that may impact electrical service, updates on reported outages and notifications about scheduled outages, Obremski said.

He told the freeholders that JCP&L customers themselves can also use text messaging to report outages, to request updates on restoration efforts and to make other inquiries about their electric accounts.

Customers will have to sign in to their online account, or set up an online account if they do not already have one.  Information about the alerts, text messaging and registration instructions is available at
https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/customer/help/communication_tools.html.

Obremski said JCP&L is also using Facebook, twitter and other social media to improve communication with its customers after being criticized for poor communication in various storms over the past two years.

As one of the utility’s area managers, Obremski said he is also liaison between the utility and 19 towns, 16 of which are in Morris County.  They are Chester Borough and township, Dover, Jefferson, Mendham Borough and township, Mine Hill, Mount Olive, Mount Arlington, Netcong, Rockaway Borough and township, Randolph, Roxbury, Victory Gardens and Wharton.

The freeholders committed to partnering with the utility to provide as much information to the public as possible, especially during storms or power outages.

Morris County also has its own alert system called MCUrgent, the county’s shared emergency information network launched by the freeholders in 2011.

MCUrgent is used by the county Officeof Emergency Management and several municipalities to quickly disseminate information to the public about widespread emergencies.  That could include information regarding flooding, evacuations and other weather-related information.

The emergency messages and situation updates can be immediately accessed from a phone, a desktop or laptop computer by a citizen via Twitter, Facebook or text message.

MCUrgent posts go directly to Facebook.com/MCUrgent, Twitter.com/MCUrgent, and also appear on the county Web site, MorrisCountyNJ.gov.  Texting “Follow MCUrgent” to 40404 brings MCUrgent posts right to an individual’s phone.

Detailed information about MCUrgent can be found at http://www.morrisoem.org/MCUrgent.asp.