FPL’s Aletha Player offers tips for the 2010 storm season

Aletha Player checks out an Aventura FPL station

With hurricane season in full swing, Florida Power and Light wants customers to be informed on how to stay safe and be fully prepared this storm season.

“While we all hope for a quiet storm season, it only takes one storm to cause severe damage and if you are well prepared it will help ease the stress of any damage caused after the storm,” says Aletha Player, FPL’s Miami-Dade manager of external affairs.

“We have been working hard everyday to make our infrastructure stronger, more efficient and more reliable for our customers,” she says.

This year, FPL has been trimming vegetation and strengthening poles and lines by using a new technology called thermovision, which is an infrared camera that identifies hot spots and weaknesses in poles and lines. “By utilizing new technologies, we are able to increase the resiliency of our system, reduce the number of outages and be more efficient in responding to any outages that do occur as a result of a storm,” said Player.

FPL is well prepared and wants its customers to be prepared as well. FPL advises its customers before a storm to turn their refrigerators and freezers to the coldest setting to keep food fresh longer in the event of a power outage; turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment; and when working on a ladder to look up and note the location of power lines before beginning work and be sure that the ladder is not within 10 feet of power lines.

FPL encourages customers with a loved one in their home dependent on electricpowered, life-sustaining equipment to review their family emergency plan for back-up power and make arrangements to relocate when a storm warning is issued.

FPL also advises that generator safety is key and improper use of a generator can cause serious injuries and even death. Customers are also advised to never run generators inside their home, garage or outside near any open windows, as they could produce potentially deadly carbon monoxide fumes. Player says customers can purchase a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm which could help detect harmful levels of carbon monoxide and to turn connected appliances on one at a time, never exceeding the generator’s rated wattage.

FPL also recommends that customers ensure they have enough supplies to survive from 3-14 days, including canned goods, water, batteries and a battery operated radio to stay informed with any news.

Player says that it is important to pay close attention to any water leaks in the home. “ If your roof or windows are leaking, water in your walls and ceiling may come in contact with electrical wiring,” she explains. “If you notice a leak, immediately turn off your circuit breakers, disconnect all electrical appliances that are plugged in, and turn off all wall switches.”

FPL reminds its customers to never stand in water while operating switches or unplugging any electrical devices. “If you are unsure, contact a licensed electrician for assistance and any necessary repairs,” says Player.

Report fallen power lines by calling 911 or FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE. “Always watch for downed power lines, and don’t ever touch them,” says Player. “Always assume a downed power line is a live wire.”

For the latest storm and electric safety tips and information anytime, visit FPL.com/storm

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