Miami, FL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–June 15, 2005–Florida Power & Light Company today conducted its annual mock hurricane exercise which provides employees with a “dry run” at what could possibly turn out to be a future storm making landfall in the company’s service territory. Hurricane Bruce, the name given to this year’s fictitious storm, was designed to evaluate and improve the company’s already well-proven storm plan.
“Every storm is different and through these annual dry runs we are able to train our employees with as real a scenario as we can make it,” Geisha Williams, in charge of storm restorations and who is also FPL’s vice president of distribution, said. “We want to learn how different storms will damage our infrastructure so we can be as prepared as possible to restore power quickly and safely – the communities we serve depend on us being ready, and the dry run is an excellent exercise that challenges our employees’ ability to respond in the event of a storm.”
“At FPL, employees have two jobs,” Williams said, “their regular job and their storm job. The storm job may be very different than what they do on a day-to-day basis. For example, we may have accountants working as line patrollers, we may have lawyers helping secure motel rooms for crews, or we may have clerical personnel helping to fuel vehicles at staging sites…we call on almost everyone in the company to pitch in when it comes to getting the lights back on for our customers and returning our communities to some semblance of normalcy.”
According to the exercise, Hurricane Bruce, a category 2 made landfall near the Miami-Dade – Broward County line one of the most densely populated areas in FPL’s service territory. The mock hurricane traversed the state and exited on the west coast in the Naples area. The storm re-energized in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and looped north entering again in Louisiana and sweeping into the southern states slowing the arrival of field crews committed to the FPL restoration process.
“Our ability to respond to a hurricane is based on the path of the storm, its intensity and the resources at our disposal,” Williams said. “We test these variables in our computer models to learn how long a restoration process will take. While Bruce is not a real storm, the restoration challenges it presents to our densely populated urban areas are quite real. Our ability to learn from these mock exercises provides us with valuable information that we can apply in the event of a real storm.”
FPL’s Storm Plan
FPL uses a proven storm model with predictive capabilities and on-staff meteorologist to track and predict a storm’s path. If a storm is predicted to make landfall in FPL’s territory, the company activates its emergency plan as follows:
— 72 hours before storm landfall – FPL activates the command center and the storm organization gets alerted. The logistic team initiates its plans by increasing inventory levels, and alerting vendors and suppliers. At this point, staging sites are pre-identified, state and county emergency centers are contacted as well as the external utilities/contractors.
— 48 hours before storm landfall – FPL’s computer models predict system damage, an initial restoration plan is developed and resource requirements are forecasted. Commitment from personnel, materials and logistics is sought for support. Also, employees begin to prepare their families and homes and travel teams are identified.
— 24 hours before storm landfall – A pre-check of equipment, facilities and systems is conducted. External personnel are pre-staged out of harm’s way, mobile inventory and rapid trailers are readied and messages delivered by FPL’s spokespeople are given to the media.
FPL’s storm structure
FPL’s storm structure is divided into several distinct areas.
— Storm Command Center – From this location, FPL manages the restoration efforts throughout its 35 county service area, working through various FPL service centers and a number of staging sites. It’s like the brain center where the restoration and logistics planning takes place, instructing staging sites and service centers on how to go about restoring power back to the communities.
— Staging Sites – These working sites are in addition to FPL’s service centers and house the thousands of restoration crews and support personnel who are executing the restoration plan. These sites are pre-selected before the storm season and arrangements are made beforehand for technology hookups.
— Service centers – FPL uses its own facilities to house hundreds of workers. Due to the small size of the centers, many years ago, FPL started deploying staging sites, housing a bigger number of workers.
Storm’s path, intensity and available resources are the key to restoration.
The speed of restoration is based on the path of the storm, its intensity and the amount of resources available. FPL works with emergency operations officials to first restore power to the public health and safety critical infrastructure – such as hospitals, police, fire, communications, water, sanitary services and transportation. Almost simultaneously, FPL turns its attention to repairing electrical facilities that will return service to the largest number of customers in the shortest period of time, and then the next largest number and so on until crews converge in the hardest hit areas and every customer is restored.
“We encourage and invite our customers to prepare with us,” said Williams. “Review your emergency plans for your family and your business. There is no better time than now, before a storm, to prepare by purchasing supplies, becoming knowledgeable about the hurricane season and informed about what you can expect following a natural disaster.”
For additional information on how to get prepared for the hurricane season, please visit FPL’s website at http://www.FPL.com. FPL’s customers received information in their May-June monthly statement.
NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional information on FPL’s storm preparedness, B-roll, and/or restoration process diagram, please call FPL’s media line at 305-552-3888.
High-resolution logos and executive head shots are available for download at http://www.fpl.com/news/contents/logos.shtml
Florida Power & Light Company is the principal subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE:FPL), nationally known as a high quality, efficient and customer-driven organization focused on energy-related products and services. With annual revenues of more than $10 billion and a growing presence in 26 states, FPL Group is widely recognized as one of the country’s premier power companies. Florida Power & Light Company serves more than 4.2 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, FPL Group’s wholesale electricity generating subsidiary is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. Additional information is available on the Internet at http://www.FPL.com, http://www.FPLGroup.com and http://www.FPLEnergy.com.
Florida Power & Light Company, Miami