One thing that won’t be delayed or canceled by the global coronavirus pandemic: hurricane season.
Florida Power & Light Company always prepares for hurricane season and urges its customers to do the same. This year, preparation is more important than ever as hurricane season arrives amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the early days of the crisis, FPL has implemented a robust pandemic plan that has allowed it to continue to safely deliver the reliable, affordable energy its customers expect. As hurricane season approaches, FPL has factored COVID-19 into its planning – for instance, adjusting the layout of staging sites with large numbers of restoration workers to account for social distancing, limiting interaction and adding more micro-staging sites.
FPL trains its employees to respond safely and as quickly as possible if a hurricane threatens its 35-county service area. Throughout the year, FPL invests to make the power grid stronger, smarter and more storm-resilient to help prevent outages and get the lights on faster if outages occur.
FPL works closely with local emergency officials and secures agreements with out-of-state utilities, contractors and suppliers to amass the workforce, material and equipment needed to respond to a hurricane.
For Hurricane Irma in 2017, FPL assembled a restoration workforce of more than 28,000, including utility workers from 30 states and Canada. Given the current travel restrictions and guidance from health officials, it is unlikely FPL can put together a restoration workforce of that size, which may cause some delay in restoration.
That’s why FPL is asking customers for their patience if severe weather strikes during the pandemic. FPL’s commitment to work around the clock to restore everyone’s power will not change, but it could take longer to do so under these extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances.
Residents and businesses should begin planning now. Customers’ hurricane plans, like FPL’s, should consider the current pandemic and anticipate that a direct strike by a major hurricane could damage the energy grid, causing residents and businesses to be without power for an extended period.
For tips and checklists on everything from essential supplies to generator safety, go to FPL.com/storm.
Stay connected with FPL during hurricane season
- Twitter: @insideFPL
- FPL Power Tracker: FPL.com/powertracker
- FPL App: Download from the App Store or Google Play, or text the word “App” to MyFPL (69375)