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October 14, 2016

For Release: Immediately

Central Hudson Co-Hosts Utility Conference on Storm Prep, Mutual Aid

Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, together with Consolidated Edison, hosted a three-day fall conference of the North Atlantic Mutual Assistance Group (NAMAG) utilities in East Elmhurst, New York, this week to share and review preparations for major storms and the process for obtaining mutual aid crews from participating utility companies during emergencies. Representatives from more than 30 utility companies and support industries attended the conference.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to co-host this meeting in order to be better-prepared for storms and other events that may interrupt electric service to our customers,” said Charles A. Freni, Senior Vice President of Customer Services and Transmission and Distribution at Central Hudson, and a presenter at the conference.

NAMAG was formed in 2013 by the consolidation of three eastern mutual assistance groups, as part of a larger national initiative to create seven Regional Mutual Assistance Groups. For Central Hudson, NAMAG replaces the New York Mutual Aid Group by broadening available resources with an additional 12 states and four eastern Canadian provinces. The organization is comprised of 26 utilities from this region agreeing to share resources and provide mutual aid to one another during restoration and repair of the electric system following major storms or emergencies. Central Hudson played a major role in forming the organizing committee for NAMAG, and an employee served as one of the two original co-chairs for the group.

Central Hudson and all utilities rely on mutual aid when addressing damage from severe storms and called on NAMAG for assistance during the 2014 Thanksgiving snowstorm. “Mutual aid is essential in greatly reducing electric service restoration time for customers,” said Freni.

“We both provide and receive assistance through this process. NAMAG not only helps identify crew availability, but also assists in locating specialized equipment and skills utilities may require,” he added.

During more significant events that may affect broader parts of the country, NAMAG follows a formal process with the other six regional groups to allocate resources to where they are needed most.

This week’s conference reviewed procedures for requesting and fulfilling mutual aid, and attending utilities shared best practices regarding their storm preparations, weather monitoring tools, safety protocols, software and apps used by repair and damage assessment crews and more. In addition to Freni, presentations were also provided by three additional Central Hudson employees directly involved in leading and facilitating service restorations during storms.

Central Hudson has received four recognitions for superior storm response by the Edison Electric Institute, a national electric industry organization. For more information on how customers can prepare for storms and communicate with Central Hudson during emergencies, visit

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Charlie Freni

Central Hudson co-hosted a utility conference on mutual aid in New York City, to discuss storm preparations and resource sharing with utility companies from the northeastern United States and Canada. Below, Charles A. Freni, Senior Vice President of Customers Services and Transmission and Distribution, presents at the conference.



 Central Hudson utilizes and provides mutual aid assistance to help speed service restoration in the aftermath of damaging storms. Past assistance was provided to Central Hudson by Kansas utility Westar (top) during Hurricane Irene in 2011, and by Fortis Ontario (above) during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.