Press release

Statewide Emergency Exercise Prepares Agencies for Severe Weather and Other Events

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To help ensure that critical infrastructure is protected and can be
restored quickly when severe weather or other catastrophic events occur
in Illinois, ComEd has organized a statewide drill – the only exercise
of its kind led by a power company in the U.S. Called “Operation Power
Play,” the drill will test how agencies coordinate in the face of a
significant weather or manmade event.

The drill involves more than 50 state, county, municipal and private
entities, such as the City of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management
and Communications (OEMC), Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA),
DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management,
Argonne National Laboratory, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, Illinois
Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech), Ameren Illinois and MidAmerican

“We see news stories every day about natural disasters and physical or
cyberattacks that could affect infrastructure, including the energy
grid, that families and businesses depend on every day,” said Joe
Dominguez, CEO of ComEd
. “This exercise gives us the chance to
cooperate with municipal and governmental officials and our partner
energy companies to make sure we’re prepared to respond safely to
emergencies and protect the people of Illinois.”

Operation Power Play will take place at Illinois Tech, where
participating agencies will conduct table top exercises and showcase
equipment and vehicles that would be used to respond to an emergency.
During the exercise, ComEd will coordinate a comprehensive, multiagency
response to simulated disasters, including extreme flooding and related
damage and a cyberattack. Partner agencies will participate onsite and
remotely at locations throughout the state.

“Here in Chicago, our public safety departments participate in exercises
all year long to strengthen their ability to share information, manage
on-scene response and allocate resources,” said OEMC Executive Director
Rich Guidice. “This exercise complements our work to enhance our
capabilities, improve collaboration and develop best practices.”

“We are excited to be able to host this year’s Operation Power Play
exercise here on Illinois Tech’s historic Mies van der Rohe Campus,”
said Alan W. Cramb, President of Illinois Institute of Technology.
“Today’s exercise not only allows us the chance to help convene our
partners across the public and private sector, but it also provides us
with an opportunity to showcase the leading-edge work being done in
energy, infrastructure, and network communication at Illinois Tech each
and every day.”

“In large-scale disasters or emergency events, it is critically
important that the key public and private responders are well
coordinated and able to communicate quickly and effectively,” said
Richard J. Mark, Chairman and President, Ameren Illinois. “Participating
in a simulation like this one helps us prepare to meet any challenges we
may face.”

Activities taking place across the state as part of the drill will

  • Metropolitan water Reclamation District – simulated plane crash and
    damage to Stickney Water reclamation Plant
  • CyrusOne (data facility for Chicago Mercantile Exchange) – loss of
    transmission tower and customer- owned substation, on backup
    generation, fuel shortage, security breach
  • Lake County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) – opening their
    emergency operations center and a joint operations center, full-scale
  • MidAmerican Energy – opening their emergency operations center and
    responding to simulated record flooding in Davenport, Ia., and Rock
    Island, Ill.
  • American Water – responding to tornado damage to their pump station in
    Belleville, Ill.
  • Ameren – flying drones in DuPage County as a cross-organizational
    damage assessment resource
  • Comcast and Verizon – testing impacts to physical tower infrastructure
    south of Interstate 80
  • Wilbur Wright College – simulating blackout to campus and restoration
    plan in conjunction with ComEd and its Exelon sister energy companies
    PECO, PHI and BGE
  • Rush University and Medical Center, and Illinois Tech – responding to
    tornadic damage
  • Aqua Illinois, City of Rochelle, ComEd, MidAmerican Energy, Rush
    University – exercising responses to cyber-attacks
  • 14 emergency operations centers will open – Air National Guard,
    American Water, Comcast, ComEd, CyrusOne, DuPage County, IEMA (SEOC,
    BEOC), Lake County EMA, MidAmerican Energy, MWRD, OEMC, Verizon,

“Partnerships between government agencies and the private sector allow
communities to respond and recover faster following disasters,” said
Acting IEMA Director, Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “I applaud our private sector
partners for their dedication to preparedness. Preparing today for the
disasters of tomorrow will ensure Illinois is ready to respond to all
types of hazards, anywhere in our state.”

Following the exercise, participants will meet to review processes,
discuss learnings and look for opportunities for improvement.

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon
Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy
provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides
service to approximately 4 million customers across northern Illinois,
or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit,
and connect with the company on
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