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FPL has mobilized and is prepared to respond to Tropical Storm Hermine

FPL continues to pre-position employees and contract personnel so they are ready to restore power to affected customers

Aug 31, 2016

  • FPL continues to pre-position employees and contract personnel so they are ready to restore power to affected customers
  • Restoration workforce totals approximately 5,000 dedicated personnel
  • Areas experiencing most impact are forecast to be the upper West Coast and northern sections of the Florida peninsula
  • We urge customers in these areas to prepare for potential tropical storm-force winds, wind-borne debris and flooding from heavy rainfall

 

JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today announced that the company is making final preparations to respond to Tropical Storm Hermine, moving employees and contract personnel into place so they are ready to restore power to affected customers.

This morning, the National Hurricane Center forecast that Tropical Storm Hermine will make landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast sometime Thursday, which means that FPL customers in the northern parts of the state should prepare for tropical storm-force winds, flying debris and vegetation, and potential flooding from heavy rainfall. 

“FPL has mobilized and is prepared to respond to the effects of this storm with a restoration workforce totaling approximately 5,000 field workers and support staff,” said Eric Silagy, president and chief executive officer of FPL. “For the better part of the past decade, FPL has been investing heavily in developing one of the nation’s most advanced smart grids. A key focus of that investment has been to make the electric system stronger by upgrading main power lines that serve critical local facilities and other community needs. This prepares our system to better withstand severe weather, and importantly, enables us to restore power to our customers faster following major storms.” 

The company’s system upgrades include local facilities, including all major hospitals, and essentially all 911 facilities and emergency operations centers in the 35 Florida counties FPL serves. FPL also has upgraded lines serving facilities that address other community needs, such as pharmacies, grocery stores and gas stations. By year-end 2016, FPL will have strengthened all main power lines serving critical facilities.

FPL’s enhancements to the energy grid over the past decade also include:

  • Strengthening more than 600 main power lines, including those that service more than 700 critical community facilities;
  • Placing more than 450 main power lines underground;
  • Clearing vegetation – a major cause of power outages – from more than 135,000 miles of power lines;
  • Completing more than 1.4 million pole inspections and upgrading or replacing those that no longer meet our standards for strength; and
  • Installing 4.8 million smart meters and 36,000 intelligent devices along the electric grid using advanced technology that helps detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur.

With Tropical Storm Hermine approaching, FPL urges customers to review their family and business emergency plans, keep a close watch on the development of the storm and follow the advice of local government. Preparation and safety tips are available at FPL.com.

How we prepare for storm season

  • Prior to storm season, we conduct extensive training to prepare our employees to respond safely and as quickly as possible if a storm threatens our service territory.
  • We secure agreements for assistance from out-of-state utilities and electrical contracting companies in case additional restoration workers should be needed. We also order backup supplies and equipment, and we plan staging sites throughout our 35-county service territory.
  • We work closely with local emergency officials to update lists of facilities that are critical to the community, such as hospitals, police and fire stations, communication facilities, water treatment plants and transportation providers.
  • We also prepare and strengthen our infrastructure throughout the year by:
    • Clearing tree limbs and branches from power lines;
    • Inspecting poles for strength;
    • Upgrading poles from wood to concrete or steel; and
    • Inspecting power lines and equipment with infrared technology to detect issues the naked eye can’t see, and making any needed repairs.

Please stay safe

Safety is always FPL’s first priority. We urge customers to make it their top priority, too:

  • Record your FPL account number in a location that will be readily available. By knowing your account number, you will be able to quickly access your account at FPL.com. Also, have our phone number (1-800-4OUTAGE or 1-800-468-8243) handy in the event you need to call to obtain information through our automated system.
  • 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.
  • If you plan to use a ladder while preparing your home for the storm, note the location of power lines before you begin. Be sure that ladders or scaffolds are far enough away so that you – and the ends of the tools you’re using – stay at least 10 feet away from power lines. Before lowering a TV antenna or satellite dish, make sure to turn off and unplug the TV.
  • Most counties will suspend trash and debris pickup before a storm. Please do not trim trees now, as high winds can turn cut branches into dangerous, flying debris. However, if you already have trimmed trees, please help to prevent outages by tying down or securing loose branches or other debris.
  • Even when winds have subsided, conditions can be dangerous. We urge customers in stormy and flooded areas to stay far away from downed power lines, flooding and debris; lines could be energized and dangerous.

 

Florida Power & Light Company

Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving more than 4.8 million customer accounts or more than 10 million people across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30 percent lower than the latest national average and, in 2015, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the sixth year in a row. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company received the top ranking in the southern U.S. among large electric providers, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM, and was recognized in 2016 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,800 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune's 2016 list of "World's Most Admired Companies." NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.

 

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