Progress Energy Florida today completed initial preparations for the 2007 hurricane season by conducting its annual storm drill.

"We continually test and refine our detailed and comprehensive storm plan, so our employees will be ready if disaster strikes," said David McDonald, Progress Energy's system storm coordinator. "With forecasts calling for more active hurricane seasons, we must continue to prepare for the worst."

The drill emphasized the process for requesting additional system resources and incorporating employee activation to storm roles. This year's drill was the inaugural test of the company's new state-of-the-art system storm facility, which is located in the company's corporate headquarters in St. Petersburg.

McDonald said Progress Energy works constantly to improve its storm readiness, both internally and working with first responders and local officials throughout its service territory. In addition, the company has worked to strengthen its system and improve overall system reliability. This year, Progress Energy plans to invest $91 million on storm-hardening improvements and system maintenance, including $25 million for trimming and clearing trees away from power lines.

Progress Energy has been honored a record five times with the Edison Electric Institute's Emergency Response Award, for responding to storms within the company's service area, and in 2005, the company won EEI's Emergency Assistance Award, for helping other utilities recover from storms.