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FPL prepares for Fay

Aug 17, 2008

  • Company activates its well-tested storm plan
  • Customers urged to prepare

JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company is closely monitoring Fay and making preparations to restore service in the event the storm damages the electrical infrastructure in its service territory. FPL is urging its customers to take safety precautions and prepare for the potential of power outages.

“There are still uncertainties in both the forecast track and intensity, but it’s likely that the storm will disrupt service to some of our customers. FPL is in a state of readiness. We have a plan of action to restore power safely and as quickly as possible. We’re prepared, and we encourage our customers to make their own preparations and to plan for their safety,” said FPL President Armando J. Olivera.

Depending on the ultimate path and intensity of the storm, Fay could cause damage to both overhead and underground electrical facilities. Damage could be caused by extensive rainfall, flooding, high winds, blowing debris or fallen trees, among other factors. The resulting damage to electric systems by a storm can require repair or rebuild efforts. Customers should be aware that restoration efforts in the wake of a storm may be hampered by flooding, fallen structures and other obstacles.

FPL activates its well-tested storm plan

FPL’s comprehensive storm plan focuses on readiness, restoration and recovery. Prior to the start of a storm season, FPL conducts extensive training to prepare its employees to respond quickly and safely if a storm strikes FPL’s service territory. FPL also coordinates assistance agreements with other utilities for out-of-state support, orders supplies and equipment to have on hand for a restoration, and secures staging sites throughout its 35-county service territory, enabling the company to quickly deploy equipment and crews to storm-damaged communities.

In addition, FPL works closely with emergency operations officials throughout its service territory to update lists of infrastructure and facilities that are critical to the community, such as hospitals, police, fire, communications, water, sanitation services and transportation providers. This information is used to establish priorities for restoration in any communities that might be affected by Fay.

When outages occur, FPL understands that its customers need information about when their power will be restored so they can plan. If Fay impacts FPL’s service territory, FPL will be working to restore power as soon as it is safe to begin and will provide its best estimates of when service will be restored. Immediately after the storm passes, FPL will deploy field teams to conduct damage assessments. This helps FPL assign the right resources, crews and materials to each effort and provide customers with an estimate of when repairs will be finished and power restored in their areas. 

  • Within 24 hours after a storm, based on the information available at the time, FPL will provide an initial estimate of how long it will take for the entire restoration to be completed.
  • Within 48 hours, restoration information on a county basis will be provided. 
  • Within 72 to 96 hours, FPL will work to provide information on a sub-county level.

As the restoration gets under way, customers are advised to monitor local radio, television, newspapers and the FPL Web site (www.FPL.com) for specific reports on progress assessing and repairing damage to the electric system in their areas.

FPL’s restoration plan calls for restoring power to the greatest number of customers safely and as quickly as possible concurrent with the restoration of a community’s critical infrastructure. FPL does not assign restoration work according to when a customer calls to report an outage, where a customer lives, or the status of an account.  FPL begins work in multiple locations and follows an overall plan that prioritizes groups over individuals:

  • FPL first restores power plants and affected transmission lines and substations, which are essential to providing electric service.
  • Simultaneously, the company restores power to the electrical infrastructure that serves critical facilities such as hospitals, police/fire stations, water plants and emergency broadcast centers. 
  • At the same time, FPL works to return service to the largest number of customers in the shortest amount of time — including service to the main thoroughfares that host supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and other needed community services.
  • From here, FPL repairs the infrastructure serving smaller groups and neighborhoods, converging on the hardest hit areas until every customer is restored.

Throughout a restoration, FPL will communicate frequently through the news media and www.FPL.com to provide updated estimated times of restoration and other status reports.

Once restoration is complete and power is restored to every customer whose home or business can receive it, FPL enters into a recovery phase focused on returning the system to its pre-storm state. 

Customers urged to prepare

Safety is FPL’s first priority before, during and after a storm. FPL advises its customers to learn all they can about how to prepare for a storm, what to do during a storm, and how to make safety a priority after a storm when utilities and normal community services may be interrupted. Customers are advised to:

  • Visit www.FPL.com/storm for preparation tips and follow the advice of your local emergency management officials. Residents are usually advised to be self sufficient for three to 14 days and to keep a battery-operated radio on hand with a two-week supply of fresh batteries.  A battery-operated radio may be the only way to receive emergency public information during a disaster.
  • Put your FPL account number and phone number (1-800-4-OUTAGE) in a secure location that will be readily available in case you need to call.  By knowing your account number, you will be able to quickly access your account and receive important information through FPL’s automated system.
  • Customers using a portable generator should check the manufacturer’s recommendations and follow them for proper use. If your plan includes operating a portable generator, wait until the storm has passed and be sure to set it up outside and connect appliances directly to it.  Please 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. Only a licensed electrician should connect a generator to a main electrical panel. Never operate a generator inside your home or even in the garage, and keep generators well away from open windows so exhaust does not enter your home or a neighbor’s home.
  • Stay far away from downed power lines, flooding and debris. Don’t walk in standing water and don’t venture out in the dark because you might not see a downed power line that could be energized and dangerous.  If you see a downed power line, call 911 or FPL at 1-800-4-OUTAGE.
  • For additional safety tips, visit www.FPL.com.

Florida Power & Light Company is a subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL). Florida Power & Light Company serves 4.5 million customer accounts in 35 counties in Florida. Additional information is available at www.FPL.com.

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