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.
Your questions on energy-related topics can be submitted anytime to our Ask the Energy Expert blog. Just click here to submit your question, and if chosen, it will be answered here
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.