JUNO BEACH, Fla., Aug. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As Isaac moves closer to Florida, Florida Power & Light Company has fully activated its emergency response plan and is prepared to respond to power outages that will be caused by the storm's anticipated high winds and rain. FPL urges customers to be prepared for power outages as bands of severe weather move into the area.
The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center indicates that Isaac's winds extend out more than 200 miles from the center of the storm, and hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued for a large part of Florida. Based on Isaac's size, path and intensity, this storm will cause damage to overhead lines and possibly to underground electric lines due to flooding and saturated grounds. Damage could be caused by flying debris, fallen trees, winds and flooding, among other factors.
"Isaac is expected to produce strong, sustained winds and rain that will cause power outages. We're in full storm mode, with more than 7,700 workers dedicated to the restoration effort," said FPL President Eric Silagy. "In an effort to restore power as quickly as possible, as conditions permit, our crews will be working throughout the event as bands of severe weather from Isaac cause power outages. Safety is our first priority, and we urge our customers to stay safe and make their preparations, too."
FPL is ready to respond; crews and staging sites in place
FPL has made pre-storm preparations to enable the company to quickly deploy equipment and crews to storm-damaged communities.
The company has commitments for a total restoration workforce of more than 7,700, including more than 5,200 line and vegetation workers from FPL's mutual assistance partners and electrical contractors, who will work alongside FPL crews and contractors.
Crews will work around the clock to respond to power outages as conditions permit.
FPL is setting up at least 12 strategic staging and support sites throughout its 35-county service area.
Immediately following the storm, and as soon as it's safe, FPL will deploy field teams to conduct damage assessments. This helps FPL assign resources (crews and materials) appropriately and provide customers an estimate of when repairs will be finished and power restored in their areas.
FPL is committed to keeping customers informed
When outages occur, FPL understands that its customers need to know when their power will be restored so they can plan ahead. That's why FPL communicates frequently through the news media and makes important information, including restoration estimates, accessible on smart phones and tablets, through such sites as:
FPL urges everyone in the path of the storm to stay safe and prepare to be without power
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. Following is FPL's advice to customers:
Visit www.FPL.com/storm for preparation tips and follow the advice of local emergency management officials.
Prepare to be self-sufficient for several days and keep a battery-operated radio on hand with a supply of fresh batteries. A battery-operated radio may be the only way to receive public emergency information in the aftermath of the storm.
Put your FPL account number and FPL's phone number (1-800-4OUTAGE) in a secure location that will be readily available in case you need to call. If you know your account number, you will be able to quickly access your account and receive important information through FPL's automated system.
If someone in your home is dependent on electric-powered, life-sustaining medical equipment, review your family emergency plan for back-up power or make arrangements to relocate when a storm warning is issued.
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 1-800-4OUTAGE.
When working on a ladder, look up and 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 – don't come within 10 feet of power lines. Before lowering a TV antenna or satellite dish, be sure to turn off and unplug the TV, and avoid power lines.
Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest setting ahead of time to keep food fresh longer in the event of a power outage.
Turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment.
Strictly follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper use when operating a portable generator. Plug appliances directly into the generator, using extension cords, if necessary. Never wire a generator directly to a breaker or fuse box because power generated 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 garage, and keep generators well away from open windows to prevent exhaust from entering your home or a neighbor's home.
Use caution when driving. Power interruptions may cause traffic signals to stop working without warning. If you come to an intersection with a non-working traffic signal, Florida law requires you to treat it as a four-way stop.
Florida Power & Light Company Florida 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 2011. During the five-year period ended December 31, 2011, the company delivered the best service reliability among Florida investor-owned utilities, while its typical residential customer bills, based on data available in December 2011, are about 25 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.