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FPL Simulates Planning And Response To Virtual Hurricane Ari In Preparation For 2010 Storm Season

To make the simulation as real as possible, FPL generated damage estimates for the fictional scenario. These estimates were based on scientific models built from decades of storm data and included other potential real-life factors such as post-storm weather, gas supplies and school-opening goals to test the ability of the team to remain flexible but focused on the ultimate mission: restoring power to customers safely and as quickly as possible.

Pre-Storm Preparations

FPL works year-round to prepare for hurricane season, conducting extensive training so its employees can respond safely and as quickly as possible if a storm threatens its service territory. FPL also coordinates assistance agreements with other utilities for out-of-state support, orders restoration supplies and equipment and secures staging sites throughout its 35-county service territory. These preparations enable the company to quickly deploy equipment and crews to storm-damaged communities.

In addition, FPL works closely with emergency operations officials to update lists of infrastructure and facilities that are critical to the community, such as hospitals, police and fire stations, 911 communication facilities, water treatment plants and transportation providers.

In fact, FPL has strengthened the power lines serving every major hospital and acute care facility in its service territory to better withstand Florida’s strong winds and severe weather. And last year, FPL invested more than $80 million to strengthen the infrastructure serving these critical facilities.

Prior to storm season, the company strengthened its infrastructure by:
  • Clearing tree limbs and branches from approximately 13,000 miles of power lines.
  • Inspecting approximately 140,000 poles and 16,500 transmission structures for strength and health.
  • Upgrading thousands of poles and transmission structures from wood to concrete or steel.
  • Inspecting power lines and equipment with Thermovision infrared technology.

These preparations are all part of FPL’s comprehensive, long-term plan to deliver reliable electric service, in good weather and bad.

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