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Ready to respond together

Ready to respond together

by | Apr 24, 2018 | 0 comments

Forecasters are calling for an above-average storm season this year, and with the start of storm season less than a month away, you can rest assured FPL has a plan in place for whatever Mother Nature delivers. Our employees practice and prepare for storms year-round so they’re ready when the weather does become severe. But, getting the state of Florida back to normal after a storm or emergency takes a full team. That team includes first responders – law enforcement, firefighters, local Emergency Operation Centers and the National Guard. Whether it’s a major hurricane or an everyday incident, we are all ready to respond together and work as one to ensure the welfare and safety of our customers.

Hurricane Irma restoration in Miami

Hurricane Irma restoration in Titusville

During Hurricane Irma, we saw that the number one cause of power outages is fallen trees, vegetation and windblown debris. These can easily get blown into a power line and bring it down. Downed power lines create an obvious dangerous and life-threatening situation. We rely on first responders to keep the public at a safe distance before we can arrive to de-energize the line and get to work. Additionally, governmental agencies are tasked with clearing roadways of debris to ensure traffic flow within the community after a storm.  Unfortunately, downed lines from the various utilities across the state hinder this process.  Because electrical facilities can be dangerous, we assist governmental agencies with this road clearing process.

In order to respond in a time of crisis, we need to ensure that our restoration workers are in a safe environment.  When crews are on the side of a busy thoroughfare, law enforcement will often be on the scene protecting the work site from oncoming traffic. Most recently, during Hurricane Irma, law enforcement would sometimes escort crews from staging sites to the epicenter of damage. This would help the restoration workers respond safely and as quickly as possible and get the lights back on faster for customers.


Hurricane Irma restoration in Lake City

Palm Beach County Sheriffs escort our bucket trucks in West Palm Beach

Emergency responders are the first to arrive on the scene of an incident. They know what it means to be on the front lines, and when they get there, they know that we will be there to support them, too. Once on the scene, first responders will immediately begin checking for hazards that could potentially be life threatening. This collaboration is mutually beneficial – in the event of a fire, FPL will de-energize the power source for the area, home, or office building before it is safe for first responders to enter the scene and begin fighting the blaze.

So, whether it’s a big storm or a house fire, it’s a team effort. We know we can count on first responders to be there, and they know we’ll be there as well. We are Team Florida and ready to respond together.

About The Author

Tom Gwaltney

Tom Gwaltney is the Senior Director of Emergency Preparedness at Florida Power & Light Company

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