The 20-year anniversary of Hurricane Andrew's landfall on Aug. 24, serves as a powerful reminder to customers that a storm of that magnitude will cause widespread devastation, including widespread electricity outages, says Florida Power & Light Co. Therefore, it's the responsibility of all Floridians to be prepared.
Regardless of whether it's a rare Category 5 like Andrew, or the lowest-level Category 1 storm, hurricanes are awesome forces of nature that can cause significant damage. Customers need to have a family plan to weather a storm or evacuate if necessary; the plan should include coping with power outages.
Since the last major hurricane to impact Florida in October 2005, the state has over 1.2 million more residents and FPL has approximately 230,000 new customers.
"Some customers who have moved to Florida since 2005 may not have personally experienced a hurricane," said FPL President Eric Silagy. "If a major storm hits our service territory, our customers have our commitment that FPL will work around the clock and we will not stop working until everyone is back in service."
While no electric company is storm proof, FPL has a comprehensive storm plan that focuses on readiness, restoration and recovery to respond safely and as quickly as possible if a hurricane strikes its service territory.
FPL advances since Andrew
In the 20 years since Hurricane Andrew, FPL has invested to make its electric system more resilient to storms, implemented significant technological advances, and improved the efficiency of its emergency response organization to speed-up restoration efforts. In addition, there are tools and technology FPL uses today that didn't exist in the early 1990s including improved weather information, Global Positioning Systems, restoration spatial view and infrared technology.
Technology advancements now enable FPL to inform customers about post-storm restoration processes faster. For example, hours after a storm a preliminary restoration estimate is created through computer modeling based on historical data. It will change as damage reports from the field are complete, but it's intended to help customers and communities make initial plans.
At the start of this storm season FPL unveiled its state-of-the-art, Category-5-rated Command Center in Riviera Beach, Florida, which will serve as the company's restoration nerve center when there's a storm.
To help customers prepare before a storm, FPL offers information and tips on its website, www.FPL.com. After a hurricane, FPL offers constant updates and information about the power restoration process through its website, which is mobile friendly, and through Twitter (www.twitter.com/insideFPL), Facebook (www.facebook.com/FPLconnect), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/FPL) and FPL's blog (www.FPLblog.com).
To see what's changed for FPL since Hurricane Andrew, click here.