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

Restoration Process

When outages occur, FPL knows that its customers need information about when their power will be restored. If a major storm impacts FPL’s service territory, FPL will be working to restore power as soon as it is safe to begin and will provide its best estimates of when service will be restored.

After a storm clears, FPL deploys field teams to conduct damage assessments. This helps FPL assign the right resources, crews and materials to each effort and provide customers an estimate of when repairs will be finished and power restored in their area. FPL’s goals for providing service restoration information are as follows:

  • Within hours after the storm passes, FPL will provide a preliminary estimate of how long it will take to restore service based on its models and historical information from similar storms.
  • Within 24 hours after the storm, based on initial damage assessments, FPL will update its systemwide estimate.
  • Within 48 hours, FPL will provide restoration information on a county basis.
  • Within 72 to 96 hours, FPL will provide information on a sub-county level.

Estimated times of restoration (ETRs) are determined largely by the amount of damage a storm inflicts on the electrical infrastructure and the amount of restoration resources available. After a major storm, FPL does not assign restoration work according to when a customer calls to report an outage, where a customer lives, or the status of an account. FPL begins work in multiple locations and follows an overall plan to restore power to the greatest number of customers safely and as quickly as possible:

  • FPL restores power plants and affected transmission lines and substations, which are essential to providing any electric service.
  • Simultaneously, the company restores electrical lines and equipment that serve critical facilities such as hospitals, police and fire stations, water treatment plants and 911 communication centers.
  • At the same time, FPL works to return service to the largest number of customers in the shortest amount of time, including service to the main thoroughfares that host supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and other needed community services.
  • From here, FPL repairs the infrastructure serving smaller groups and neighborhoods, converging on the hardest hit areas until every customer is restored.

As the restoration gets under way, customers are advised to monitor local radio, television, newspapers and the FPL website ( www.FPL.com/storm) if possible for specific reports on progress in assessing and repairing damage to the electric system in their areas.

FPL’s Storm Restoration Organization

  • Area Command Center – From this location, FPL manages its restoration efforts throughout its 35-county service territory. The Area Command Center coordinates the overall event, providing policy and strategic guidance.
  • Work Bases – These are the staging sites and service centers that house the thousands of restoration crews and support personnel who are executing the restoration plan. Potential sites across the state are pre-selected before storm season.
  • Logistics The logistics team provides support to the staging sites, securing services such as materials, food, water and housing.

Storm Preparation Tips for Customers

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. Customers are advised to:

  • Visit www.FPL.com/storm for preparation tips and follow the advice of your local emergency management officials. Prepare to be self-sufficient for three to 14 days and keep a battery-operated radio on hand with a two-week supply of fresh batteries. A battery-operated radio may be the only way to receive emergency public information during and after a severe storm.
  • Put your FPL account number and phone number (1-800-4-OUTAGE or 1-800-468-8243) in a secure location that will be readily available in case you need to call. By knowing your account number, you will be able to quickly access your account and receive important information through FPL’s automated system.
  • If you plan to operate a portable generator in the event of an outage at your home, wait until the storm has passed and be sure to set up the generator outside and connect appliances directly to it. Do not wire your generator directly to your breaker or fuse box because the power it generates can 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 even in the garage, and keep it well away from open windows so exhaust does not enter your home or a neighbor’s home.
  • Stay 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 1-800-4-OUTAGE.
  • For additional safety tips, visit www.FPL.com/storm, and remember to always follow the advice of your local emergency management officials.

Following a Storm: Advice for Customers

Right after a storm, FPL will know if damage to large power lines has interrupted your service. 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.

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