JUNO BEACH, Fla., Aug. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As Tropical Storm Erika moves closer to Florida's coast, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) continues to make preparations, including mobilizing its workforce to restore service safely and as quickly as possible should the storm cause power outages in part or all of our service territory.
The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center still shows uncertainty in the storm's path and intensity, but it could impact at least a portion of FPL's service territory.
"FPL is taking this storm seriously. We are mobilizing and pre-positioning our restoration workforce so that if our customers experience power outages, our crews can quickly start their work as soon as it is safe to do so," said Manny Miranda, senior vice president of Power Delivery for FPL. "We're also asking customers to make safety their top priority."
Mobilizing our restoration workforce
FPL has more than 5,500 employees and contractors prepared to restore power to customers who could be impacted by Tropical Storm Erika. We are also working with partner utilities to bring in an additional 1,700 workers throughout Saturday and Sunday.
"We're exercising our storm response plans and moving aggressively to ensure that we are as prepared as possible to restore power to our customers who may be impacted by the approaching storm," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "Complementing our efforts are the proactive steps taken by Gov. Rick Scott in already declaring a state of emergency. By the governor taking this action, we are much better positioned to move critical resources into Florida with greater ease in advance of Erika's potential landfall, including out-of-state workers and their equipment."
FPL is establishing 16 staging sites across its service territory to manage this workforce and prepare for restoration. Potential staging sites are preselected before storm season to ensure that crews and resources can be positioned near any community where FPL customers may be affected by a storm. At least 72 hours before a storm's projected landfall, we identify the staging sites that will be activated based on the storm's path. After the storm, we activate those sites so that crews can restore service to customers safely and as quickly as possible.
A staging site logistics team supports crews by securing food, water, fuel and housing necessities. The logistics team also manages resource inventory levels, alerting vendors and suppliers to anticipated needs; communicates with state and county emergency centers; and maintains contact with external utilities and contractors.
Please stay safe
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.
Safety is always FPL's first priority. We urge customers to make it their top priority, too:
- Keep a battery-operated radio on hand with a two-week supply of fresh batteries, along with other essentials.
- 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 online at FPL.com, using your computer or mobile device. Also have our phone number (1-800-4OUTAGE or 1-800-468-8243) handy, in the event that 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 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 any of those loose branches or other debris.
- Adjust refrigerators and freezers to their coldest settings ahead of time to keep food fresher longer in the event of a power outage.
- Don't venture out in the dark, as you might not see a downed power line that could be energized and dangerous; avoid standing water and debris.
- If you see a downed power line, call 911 or 1-800-4OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243). Stay away from all power lines.
- Visit FPL.com for more preparation and safety tips.
How to stay informed
FPL communicates restoration information to customers frequently through the news media and the following mobile-friendly resources:
- FPL website: FPL.com
- Twitter: twitter.com/insideFPL
- Facebook: facebook.com/FPLconnect
- FPL blog: FPLblog.com
- FPL Power Tracker: FPL.com/powertracker
Customers also can sign up for pre- and post-storm email updates at FPL.com/storm.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving approximately 4.8 million customer accounts 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 2014, was the lowest in Florida among 55 reporting utilities for the fifth 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 was recognized in 2015 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,700 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, including being ranked in the top 10 worldwide for innovativeness and community responsibility as part of Fortune's 2015 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, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company