August 29, 2006
FPL ready for Tropical Storm Ernesto and urges customers to be safe

JUNO BEACH, Fla. -- Florida Power & Light Co. is ready for the impact of Tropical Storm Ernesto with a flexible and proven plan of action. Virtually every FPL employee, along with pre-deployed out-of-state utility workers, is prepared to assist in post-storm restoration efforts in the aftermath of the storm.

 “We have been tracking this storm since the weekend,” said Geisha Williams, vice president of electrical distribution for FPL and the executive in charge of hurricane restoration.  “FPL is poised and ready to deploy all the resources necessary to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Most importantly, we urge our customers to make their safety and the safety of their families their highest priority.”

 FPL urges customers to take steps now to be safe during and after the storm, and to visit www.fpl.com for more information – in English and Spanish – regarding hurricane tips such as generator safety, precautions regarding downed power lines, flooding, protecting your electrical equipment and more. 

  • Please do not venture out during or after the storm. It is important that roads stay clear for emergency personnel, as well as FPL restoration crews.
  •  If you must go out, stay far away from downed power lines, flooding and debris. The damage and debris resulting from Ernesto is just as dangerous as that of a hurricane. We strongly urge our customers to heed warnings and stay clear of downed power lines. If you see an electrical line down and you think it presents a clear and imminent danger to you or others, call 911 or FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE.
  • Don’t walk in standing water and don’t venture out in the dark because you might not see a power line that could still be energized and dangerous. Safety should be everyone’s main goal.
  •  If you plan to use a portable generator, run it outside and connect appliances directly using extension cords if necessary.
  •  Do not wire you generator directly to your breaker or fuse box, because the electricity you generate may flow back into power lines and cause injuries.
  • Never operate a generator inside your home or even in the garage. Keep generators well away from open windows so exhaust does not enter your home or a neighbor’s home.

FPL’s restoration plan calls for restoring power to critical infrastructure and the most customers in the least amount of time. First, we assess the overall system and repair FPL power plants and the major lines that carry power from plants to towns and communities.  Concurrently, we restore service to critical infrastructure to facilitate the work of those who provide for community health, safety and public welfare – such as hospitals, police, fire, communications and water, sanitary and transportation providers. FPL has been in contact with all county emergency operations centers that have been activated as a result of the storm and we will maintain these communications with our community partners to be sure vital services are restored as quickly as possible. 

“Our plan is to respond quickly to make sure that the interruption in service caused by Ernesto is as short-lived as possible. Crews will be able to work tonight as long as winds are below 35 miles per hour,” said Williams.

“We know our customers want and need information as to when they can expect to get their power restored. As soon as the storm passes, we will assess the damage and we will be providing a system-wide time of restoration 24 hours after the storm clears Florida. Within 48 hours, we will provide restoration times on a regional or county basis. We’ll also work to provide more localized information 72 to 96 hours after the storm passes.”

Right after the storm, because of remote monitoring equipment, FPL will know if large power lines have been damaged and you’re without power. Please help us keep the phone lines open by only calling FPL if you need to report an emergency such as a downed power line or electrical equipment that is sparking and dangerous