With Hurricane Irma approaching, Florida Power & Light Co. has activated its emergency response plan, and we urge our customers to finalize their plans. Despite the fact that last year, FPL customers in Central and North Florida were significantly impacted by Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew, we estimate that about half of the nearly 10 million people we serve have yet to experience a hurricane.
At FPL, we plan and drill for this type of event year-round, and you have my commitment that we will work 24/7 to help restore power and get our communities back to normal.
Here’s what we’re doing now to prepare:
▪ As of Wednesday, we have several thousand workers dedicated to planning and preparing to respond to Irma, and this number will continue to grow.
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▪ We are working actively with other utilities across the country to secure and pre-position additional resources for Irma’s projected landfall in our service area.
▪ We have activated backup suppliers and equipment vendors, as well as more than 20 staging sites where restoration crews, trucks, and equipment are stationed.
We know each hour counts, which is why we work so closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure a closely coordinated response when you need us most.
Since 2006, we have invested more than $3 billion to build a stronger, smarter electric grid, and we continue to leverage new technology to enhance our storm response. The investments we’ve made in recent years have placed FPL in the best possible position to restore power to our customers faster following a storm.
Even so, hurricanes are devastating forces of nature, and the winds, torrential rain and storm surge that Irma is forecast to bring are likely to cause widespread and prolonged outages. Additionally, should Irma’s worst fears be realized, our crews will likely have to completely rebuild parts of our electric system. Restoring power through repairs is measured in days; rebuilding the electric system could be measured in weeks.
With Irma nearby, I want to emphasize keeping safety top of mind before, during and after the storm. We can help with safety and preparation tips at FPL.com/storm. We’ll also post information at Facebook.com/FPLConnect and Twitter.com/InsideFPL. In addition, customers can download the new FPL Mobile App for on-the-go, instant, and secure access to their accounts.
Stay safe, heed the warnings of local, state and federal elected officials, and know that all of us at FPL won’t stop working until everyone’s power is up and running again.
Eric Silagy is president and chief executive officer of Florida Power & Light Co.