Season starts June 1; Severe weather can cause power outages
JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida
Power & Light Company urges customers to finalize their storm plans and be
ready for the June 1 start of Hurricane Season, which is just days away.
Superstorm Sandy in the Northeast last year showed that it just takes one storm
to cause significant damage and widespread power outages.
“It’s not a question if we
are going to get a storm in Florida, it’s a question of where and when it’s
going to hit,” said FPL President Eric Silagy. “While we keep adding new
technology, strengthening our electric grid and preparing year-round for
storms, hurricanes are extreme forces of nature that will cause power outages.
We are focused on getting customers’ lives, communities and businesses back to
normal as quickly as possible after a storm strikes.”
On May 1, 2013, FPL filed
plans with the Florida Public Service Commission to invest approximately half a
billion dollars over the next three years to continue to improve the overall
resiliency of the electric system against high winds associated with hurricanes
and other major weather events. This includes new storm-surge detection and
protection efforts. This accelerated hardening effort builds upon the approved
program FPL has been executing since 2007. From 2007 through 2012, FPL invested
a total of nearly $460 million to strengthen the electricity-delivery backbone
and harden infrastructure serving facilities that are critical to communities
such as hospitals, police and fire stations, 911 facilities, water-treatment
plants, grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies.
FPL tips for customers before a storm threatens
- Update the
phone number and e-mail address on your FPL account.
- When you call, our computers recognize your
phone number and automatically match it to your FPL account.
a copy of your FPL bill with you or store your account number in your
smart phone or other electronic device. Having your FPL account
number handy will help us serve you more quickly.
- By calling
1-800-4OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243) and entering your account number, you
will be able to receive information through our automated system.
- Have your
trees properly trimmed to minimize their potential impact on your home and
neighborhood. Make sure this is completed prior to a Hurricane Warning
when trash pickup will be suspended.
not attempt to trim any vegetation growing near any overhead power lines.
Only specially trained line-clearing professionals should work around
power lines. Check your local listings to locate a contractor qualified
to trim vegetation around power lines.
- If someone
in your home is dependent on electric-powered, life-sustaining medical
equipment, review your family emergency plan for backup power or make
arrangements to relocate when a storm warning is issued.
- Keep a
battery-operated radio with you and a two-week supply of fresh batteries.
A battery-operated radio may be the only way you will receive emergency
public information during a disaster. Also stock up on:
- extra batteries
bottled water. The American Red Cross recommends one gallon of water per
person per day.
- If your
preparation plans include the operation of a portable generator, test it
now. Be sure to set it up outside away from all open windows, including
neighbors’ windows, and connect appliances directly to it. Do not wire
your generator directly to your breaker or fuse box, because the power you
generate may flow back into power lines and cause injuries. It’s also a
good idea to have a carbon monoxide alarm inside your home.
“Having a well-thought hurricane plan
is important for all of us who live in Florida,” Silagy said. “We want our customers to be prepared for hurricane
season and be thinking now about any adjustments they would have to make if
they experience extended power outages after a storm.”
FPL’s Year-Round and Pre-Season Preparations
FPL prepares throughout the year for hurricane
season, conducting extensive training for employees.
Thousands of FPL employees have storm assignments in addition to their regular positions.
As part of its storm preparation plan, FPL conducts an annual week-long storm
drill, which took place this year April 29-May 3 with a simulated Category 3
storm. FPL also coordinates assistance agreements with other utilities for
out-of-state support, orders in advance restoration supplies and equipment and
secures staging sites throughout Florida. These advanced preparations enable
the company to quickly deploy crews and equipment to storm-damaged
As a Storm Approaches
In advance of a storm making landfall, FPL activates
its emergency response plan to prepare for potential damage to the electric
infrastructure, which can be caused by high winds, lightning, flooding, storm surge,
blowing debris or falling trees. These conditions can affect both overhead and
underground power lines, and customers should be aware that restoring power
after a damaging storm can be lengthy.
FPL’s community-focused restoration process
concentrates on restoring power to the most critical functions first, such as
hospitals, police and fire stations, and 911 centers, and then to the most
people in the shortest time possible for maximum benefit to the community.
After a Storm
If a storm strikes, FPL will provide updated restoration time estimates and
other progress reports on its website (www.FPL.com/storm), Twitter (www.twitter.com/insideFPL), Facebook (www.facebook.com/FPLconnect), YouTube (www.youtube.com/FPL), FPL’s blog (www.FPLblog.com) and FPL’s Power Tracker (www.FPL.com/powertracker).
NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional information
on FPL’s storm readiness and b-roll, please call the 24/7 FPL Media Line at
305-552-3888 or visit FPL’s Newsroom (http://newsroom.fpl.com/).
Power & Light Company
Power & Light Company is the largest rate-regulated electric utility in
Florida and serves the third-largest number of customers of any electric
utility in the United States. FPL serves approximately 4.6 million customer
accounts and is a leading Florida employer with approximately 10,000 employees
as of year-end 2012. During the five-year period ended December 31, 2012, the
company delivered the best service reliability among Florida investor-owned
utilities. As of year-end 2012, its typical residential customer bills are the
lowest in Florida, and based on data available in July 2012, are about 26
percent below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the
lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs
among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based
NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.FPL.com.