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Bruce Martinez

About "Ask the Energy Expert"

Bruce Martinez, Director of FPL's Network Operations, manages power restoration and emergency preparedness for the FPL distribution power grid.

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How does FPL restore power after a major outage

By Bruce Martinez

Asked on: May 7, 2012 by Rom M., Fort Myers

I heard that when there are major power outages after hurricanes that power is first restored to critical areas where there are hospitals, police and fire stations. How can I find out if my home is on one of the first priority grids?

To start, let me address the first part of your question. You’re correct -- hospitals, police and fire stations are among our top priorities following a severe storm. In fact, our community-focused restoration process is concentrated on restoring power to the most critical functions first, and then to the most people in the shortest time possible for maximum benefit to the community. We do that by first restoring power plants, transmission lines and substations, which are essential to providing electric service to large areas.

Simultaneously, crews repair lines and equipment serving critical facilities, such as hospitals, and return service to main thoroughfares that host supermarkets, gas stations and other essential community services. From there, we focus on neighborhoods. Check out the video below for a look at how our process works:

To your second point, while we do not give out specific information about grid structures for security purposes, we can tell you that we do not prioritize neighborhoods based on location. We begin with the hardest-hit areas first and continue working until everyone’s lights are back on.

Your safety is very important to us. If this is a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately or go to your nearest emergency room. For non-emergencies, you can reach us during regular business hours via Facebook private message, or follow and message us on Twitter and one of our representatives will assist you. To report an outage, please call 1-800-4-Outage. Thank you and please stay safe.

Comments [7]

  1. John

    I wholeheartedly agree. FPL, take note!

  2. Crista

    I agree. I’m not a vet, and am not associated with any animal hospital, but I strongly concur that animal hospitals and/or vet offices should be a high priority – above grocery stores and the like. We should all be planning ahead for supplies, we can’t plan ahead for injuries or emergency medical needs for people or animals!

  3. Jacqueline ONeill

    Thank you.

  4. Robyn

    All this PR is great but I cannot afford a smart phone any more than I can afford a rate increase by FPL. Historically, my location is without power 3-5 days after a storm. Hopefully with the Collier Police Dept exchange now located on County Barn Road that will change. I have yet to see an FPL truck on the property, it is usually an out of State company that rescues us!

    1. Scott

      Let me start by I do not work for FPL…

      First issue: Power companys can not control mother nature and the first mistake is thinking we/ they can and thinking we can control the flow of water too.

      Second: Three things are considered in reviewing what customers want from their power company provider.

      1. Perfect Reliablity
      2. Cheapest kWh/ KW rates
      3. Best customer service

      If you want the cheapest rates than reliablity and customer serice will sufer, however power company providers in general have found a way to keep the reliablity, customer service, and the cheapest rates at the top of their service to there customers, and that is by running a tight ship, as so to speak.

      How do they do this, they share the work between other utilities when their is a hurricane, flood, or major damage to the electrical grid between all partners. It’s a cost effective way to have other utilites assist who are also properly trained to come to your rescrue in a storm rather than take on a bunch of employees and have them just sit around and wait for something to break…

      Electric is still the cheapest thing that anyone can purchase, and without it everything will stop.. You will see people cry the blues and offer no help to others who are trying to keep those lights on in a thunder-storm, etc. and away from their families… We are not rebots—”We are Lineman”!



  6. Virginia Quelch

    Great Q and A, but I would like to add that veterinary hospitals should be included on the priority list. During previous hurricane outages our hospital was treated as if it was any business. Animals are hurt during storms, emergencies need to be treated, emergency surgeries need to be performed. Pets are like peoples children. We had to explain to people during the last hurricane that there was no help for pets because we were told we were not on a priority list (by FPL)!


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