Ohio Edison and Pennsylvania Power, subsidiaries of FirstEnergy Corp., are conducting a training drill today to test and help streamline the companies' service restoration process if severe weather causes wide-spread power outages in the region. 

Designed to train employees assigned to storm outage duty on responses to major events, the drill will take place at Ohio Edison's Regional Dispatch Office in Akron, with participating Penn Power employees staged at the company's service center in Clark, Pa.  Overall, more than 50 company employees will play either a role or observe the drill.

"While FirstEnergy's storm restoration process has been recognized repeatedly by electric industry organizations for its effectiveness and efficiency, the goal of this type of exercise is to make our storm response efforts even better," said Randy Frame, regional president of Ohio Edison, which also operates Penn Power in western Pennsylvania.  "Whether it's conducting employee training or investing in our infrastructure, as we head into the summer storm season we want our customers to know that much is being done to enhance service reliability."

A team of FirstEnergy, Ohio Edison and Penn Power employees have been preparing for weeks to run the drill, which will roughly follow the same time schedule and outage totals for an actual storm that occurred in 2013. Storm drills are becoming more common in the utility industry in the wake of severe weather over the last several years.