More than 3,500 Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) employees participated in the company’s comprehensive annual storm drill designed to test their response to a simulated hurricane. The weeklong drill is an important component of FPL’s extensive year-round training to ensure employees are ready to respond when customers need them most.
During the exercise, Hurricane Flynn – a mock Category 4 storm – made a simulated landfall in Southeast Florida. FPL employees tested and role-played how they would respond, including their restoration efforts, operations, logistics, communications and customer service.
The upcoming hurricane season is the first since Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida as the fifth strongest storm to ever hit the United States. Six weeks after Ian, Hurricane Nicole struck the east coast of Florida as the first November hurricane to hit the state since 1985.
“The 2022 hurricane season is still fresh in the memory of many Floridians, especially those who lost loved ones or who are still recovering from hurricanes Ian and Nicole,” said Armando Pimentel, president and CEO of FPL. “We learn lessons from every storm season. At FPL, rigorous training and cutting-edge technology help us to enhance our response each year, but no electrical system is hurricane-proof, and storms will result in power outages. We urge all Floridians to start planning for the upcoming hurricane season now and consider how best to prepare their families, homes and businesses. The work we put in today will pay off as we face another hurricane season together.”
Since the historic 2004-05 hurricane seasons, when seven storms hit FPL’s service area, FPL has made significant investments to strengthen the power grid against extreme weather and improve day-to-day reliability. These include:
· Hardening main power lines that serve critical community facilities and services
· Installing more than 200,000 intelligent devices along the energy grid to detect and prevent power outages and minimize restoration times when outages occur. These devices helped customers avoid nearly 550,000 outages during the 2022 hurricane season.
· Placing more neighborhood power lines underground through the Storm Secure Underground Program, which has completed more than 1,200 projects through the end of 2022.
“The most important preparation for extreme weather is sustained, long-term investments to build a stronger and smarter energy grid, as we have seen time and again,” said Manny Miranda, executive vice president of power delivery for FPL. “We continue to train our men and women – as we’ve been doing at our storm drill this week – so that when a storm hits, we can get the lights back on faster for our customers who depend on us, and the Florida economy can return to normal operations quickly.”
As part of the training exercise, FPL showcased and demonstrated innovative technology used to assist with storm restoration, including its new drone-in-a-box and the Mobile Command Center emergency vehicle that provides FPL with on-scene command and control during major events and emergencies. In addition, FPL unveiled its EVolution trailer, the state’s first electric vehicle (EV) mobile-charging trailer that provides “on-the-go” fast charging during evacuations for the growing number of EV drivers.
Customers urged to connect with FPL
FPL reminds its customers that every storm is different, along with the potential damage it can cause. Staying connected with FPL can help customers make decisions, before, during and after a storm:
· FPL website: FPL.com/storm
· Twitter: twitter.com/insideFPL
· Facebook: facebook.com/FPLconnect
· FPL Power Tracker: FPL.com/powertracker
· FPL Power Tracker (Northwest Florida): FPL.com/mypowertracker
· FPL app: Download from the App Store or Google Play, or text the word “App” to MyFPL (69375)
Florida Power & Light Company
As America’s largest electric utility, Florida Power & Light Company serves more customers and sells more power than any other utility, providing clean, affordable, reliable electricity to approximately 5.8 million accounts, or more than 12 million people.
FPL operates one of the most fuel efficient and cleanest power generation fleets in the U.S and in 2022 won the ReliabilityOne® National Reliability Award for the seventh time in the last eight years. The company was also recognized by Escalent in 2022 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities for the ninth consecutive year. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in