FPL Workforce Prepared for Tropical Storm Gabrielle
'We care about safety -- yours and ours -- and getting your power back with as little inconvenience, and as quickly as possible.'
September 13, 2001

As Tropical Storm Gabrielle approaches Florida's west coast, Florida Power & Light Company officials say the electric utility is ready. Its workforce has fine-tuned and rehearsed its plans for restoring electric service after the storm has passed. The company asks everyone -- customers and employees -- to focus on safety before and after the storm and says it will focus on minimizing customer inconvenience.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010621/FPLLOGO )

"Customers who lose their electric service, due to bad weather associated with Tropical Storm Gabrielle, should be assured that FPL's highly trained and professional workforce is devoted to restoring electric service as quickly as possible," said Armando Olivera, FPL senior vice president of power systems. "Our plan calls for putting more people on the phones, more crews in the field and providing frequent status reports to customers."

FPL serves 3.9 million homes and businesses in Florida including counties along the Eastern Seaboard from the Georgia-Florida line south to Miami-Dade County and on Florida's Gulf Coast from the Bradenton-Sarasota area, south to Fort Myers and Naples.

Steps to take to be safe and protect your family before and after a storm:

-- When winds reach 35 mph, or flooding is significant, stay out of harm's way. At FPL, we care about our employees, and we insist they too remain safe, so we suspend work in the field until conditions improve.

-- Stay away from downed lines, flooding and debris. Don't walk in standing water and don't venture out in the dark because you might not see a power line that could still be energized and dangerous.

-- Learn all you can about getting prepared for a storm and about being prepared to manage safely after a storm when our services and other community services may be temporarily interrupted.

-- If you plan to use a portable generator, run it outside and connect appliances directly. Do not wire your generator directly to your breaker or fuse box, because the power it creates may flow back into power lines and cause injuries.

How does FPL know who's without power and when to call:

-- Right after a storm, we'll know if large power lines have been damaged and you're without power. Please help us keep the phone lines open by only calling FPL if you need to report an emergency like a downed power line or electrical equipment that is sparking and dangerous. The number is 1-800-4OUTAGE.

-- If your neighborhood gets power back on a day or two after a storm -- but you're still without power -- then please call us at 1-800-4OUTAGE. Please have your account number or phone number available when you call and an automated system will record your outage information. This system helps us manage the enormous task of restoring power after a hurricane - beginning with emergencies and essential community services.

-- Stay tuned to local radio, TV and newspapers for specific reports on FPL's progress in assessing and repairing damage to the electrical system in your area.

-- Severe hurricanes have been known to cause damage that results in many weeks without power. Less severe storms can result in several days or a week or more without power.

-- Once we've assessed damage, we will provide an estimate of when repairs will be finished and power restored in your area. If you have access to a computer, visit us at our storm information center at http://www.fpl.com/ or call 1- 800-4OUTAGE for an update.

Customers are our number one priority after a storm. We use a well-tested plan to restore service. Here's how we work:

-- First we assess the overall system and repair FPL power plants and the major lines that carry power from plants to towns and communities.

-- Next, we restore service to essential customers who provide for community health, safety and public welfare -- such as hospitals, police, fire, communications and water, sanitary and transportation providers.

-- We simultaneously deploy field teams to conduct neighborhood-by- neighborhood damage assessments. We do this so the right resources, crews and materials are assigned to each effort. We also set up special staging sites to begin work in the areas that were hit the hardest.

-- After essential customers, we restore all other customers using a priority restoration process. The process focuses on making repairs to electrical facilities that will return power to the largest number of people first, then the next largest number, and so on, until power is returned to everyone.

-- Work is not assigned according to when you called to report your outage, where you live or the status of your account. Work will begin in multiple locations wherever we have damage and customers out of service, and it will progress according to a plan that prioritizes groups over individuals.

-- We know you want accurate information that will help you make decisions about whether to relocate. Post-storm assessments take time after a severe storm, but as soon as we've reviewed the extent of damage to electrical facilities in your area, we will provide power restoration forecasts through the news media, on FPL's Web site (http://www.fpl.com/) and at 1-800-4OUTAGE.

As a customer, what can I do after a storm?

-- Before you call to report an outage, check all circuit breakers or fuses to help determine if your service outage might be the result of a household problem.

-- If you have significant water damage in your home that might make it unsafe, call a licensed electrician for advice.

-- Visually inspect the area outside your home near the meter. If the meter or any of the piping and wires on the wall of your home or office are gone or look damaged, call an electrician for advice.

-- If no problems are apparent, FPL will re-connect your service or assist in determining whether you have a household problem.

-- Visit http://www.fpl.com/ for pre- and post-storm customer tips, a Hurricane Q&A and -- when events occur -- news of storm restoration and maps.

NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional information on FPL storm preparedness, you may wish to contact a local FPL media liaison, as follows:

  Daytona/N.Florida    Bob Coleman                   904-254-2350
  Brevard/Orlando      Sandy Sanderson               321-726-4955
  Treasure Coast       Rod Macon                     561-640-2201
  Palm Beach           Rod Macon                     561-640-2201
  Broward              Lynn Shatas                   954-321-2215
  Sarasota/Bradenton   Mel Klein                     941-316-6399
  Fort Myers/Naples    Grover Whidden                941-332-9291
  Miami-Dade, Broward  Corporate Communications      305-552-3888
   & West Palm Beach
  Miami-Dade  (Spanish) Betty Marsenison             305-552-3888


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SOURCE: Florida Power & Light Company

Contact: Florida Power & Light, Corporate Communications Department,
Media Line: +1-305-552-3888