Officials from New Jersey utilities joined federal officials on Tuesday to highlight the need to strengthen power deliver systems in the state as the one year anniversary of Sandy approaches.

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Federal Assistant Energy Secretary Patricia Hoffman says electric customers caught up in a Sandy want their electric company to know their lights are out, and they want to know when power will come back on, so better communication is crucial.

She also says "hardening" the power deliver system for future Sandy's will also be essential.

"I think resiliency has to be our number one priority as we look towards the future. We have to have an "all-hazards" approach," Hoffman explained.

Hoffman says stronger poles and supports for those poles, even burying electric cables underground where that's affordable, are future options.

There is a lot of emphasis on also making sure that the upgrades to power delivery systems in New Jersey include so-called, "smart grid" technologies that are built to account for changing climate conditions.

Sandy caused an estimated $65 billion in losses, with as much as $26 billion of that from power outages during and after the storm.