Editor’s note: This is a paid advertorial.
As many Floridians saw last fall, it just takes one storm to cause widespread devastation. While Floridaâ€™s 2023 hurricane season comes to a close on November 30, it is important for residents to remain vigilant in the face of extreme weather.
To prepare for storm season and beyond, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has implemented a systematic and strategic approach to strengthen its electric grid to reduce restoration costs and customer outage times associated with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, and improve overall reliability for customers in Washington and Holmes Counties and throughout its service area. While no energy grid is hurricane-proof, FPL has made significant investments to upgrade and harden its electric grid, including:
- 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
- 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
Throughout the year, FPL conducts extensive training to prepare its employees to respond safely and as quickly as possible if a storm threatens Florida. Before storm season starts, employees participate in an annual storm drill designed to test their response to a simulated hurricane. During the weeklong drill, employees test and role-play how they would respond to a storm, including their restoration efforts, operations, logistics, communications and customer service.
As part of the companyâ€™s ever-growing drone fleet, FPL recently unveiled its new drone-in-a-box that is housed in hurricane-resilient containers and can fly autonomously along a predetermined route, helping to efficiently assess any damage to our electrical system immediately after a storm has passed. Last year, the company also introduced FPLAir One, a fixed wing drone capable of flying up to a thousand miles without having to refuel. Following Hurricane Ian, FPLAir One was used to assess the impact the devastating storm had on the energy grid, providing visuals of FPL infrastructure and speeding restoration efforts.
FPL also works closely with local emergency officials to update lists of facilities that are critical to the community, such as hospitals, police and fire stations, communication facilities, water treatment plants and transportation providers. To ensure we can restore power to our customers as quickly as possible, FPL often secures agreements with out-of-state utilities and electrical contracting companies in the event that additional restoration personnel are needed.
While the rigorous training, energy grid enhancements and cutting-edge technology help to strengthen the companyâ€™s response each year, storms will result in power outages. It is essential for Floridians to prioritize planning for hurricane season to consider how best to prepare their families, homes and businesses. Learn more storm and safety tips by visiting FPL.com/storm.