JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Local government officials, community leaders, emergency response workers, large business customers, and media joined Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) officials today to observe the company complete its final major exercise during its annual, company-wide storm drill in advance of hurricane season.
Ready to Respond Together
During the company’s annual storm drill today in Riviera Beach, Fla., FPL provided the guests with an overview of the company’s storm response plans and tours of its Physical Distribution Center and new state-of-the-art Command Center.
“FPL believes that strong partnerships with representatives of the community go a long way toward helping communities recover as quickly as possible after a major storm or hurricane strikes,” said FPL President Eric Silagy. “Our goal is to keep the community and our customers well-informed before, during and after a storm so we can work together effectively to get life back to normal as quickly as possible.”
Virtual Hurricane Marina
As part of FPL’s Ready to Respond Together Day, emergency response partners watched employees prepare for and react to the fictitious Hurricane Marina, a virtual category 3 hurricane that made landfall in South Florida.
To make the simulation as real as possible, FPL generated damage estimates for the fictional scenario to test the ability of the team to remain flexible but focused on the ultimate mission: keeping customers well informed before, during and after a storm so we can work together.
"I was pleased to see how prepared FPL is," said Billie Brooks, chair of the Riviera Beach City Council. "Today’s storm drill was another reminder of how important it is that each and every resident in Florida is prepared for hurricane season.”
After a brief welcome by FPL President Eric Silagy, guests toured FPL’s new Command Center, built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, including winds of up to 150 mph and gusts of up to 191 mph, and viewed several technology and restoration demonstrations. One high-tech piece of equipment discussed was FPL’s Restoration Spatial View, a Google Maps-based application that allows FPL workers at the Command Center or even in their trucks to track outages and repair progress in real time.
“We have a comprehensive plan that focuses on readiness, restoration and recovery and we prepare as much as possible, but we recognize that damage from a storm can vary widely, and that no electric system is storm-proof,” said Silagy at the event. “But in the event the power goes out, you have my commitment that we will work around the clock and we will not stop working until everyone is back in service.”
Guests also were able to experience what hurricane force winds really feel like in a wind demonstration tunnel and see how restoration works by personally attempting to replace a transformer fuse.
NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional information on FPL’s storm readiness and to get photos and b-roll, please call the 24/7 FPL Media Line at 305-552-3888 or visit FPL’s newsroom (www.FPL.com/newsroom).
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest rate-regulated electric utility in Florida and serves the third largest number of customers of any electric utility in the United States. FPL serves approximately 4.6 million customer accounts and is a leading Florida employer with approximately 10,000 employees as of year-end 2011. During the five year period ended December 31, 2011, the company delivered the best service reliability among Florida investor-owned utilities, while its typical residential customer bills, based on data available in December 2011, are about 25 percent below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.FPL.com.