FPL Marks Hurricane Andrew Anniversary as a Time to
Remember, Learn and Prepare
"At FPL, hurricane preparation is now part of our daily operations, every day we're not
in a storm we're preparing for one," said Keith Hardy, FPL's vice president of
Juno Beach, FL (August 10, 2012) -- On Aug. 24, Florida and the nation will observe the
20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, one of the most dramatic and devastating natural
disasters in modern history. For those who lived through the storm and witnessed its
incredible destruction first hand, this month is a time of solemn remembrance. And for
everyone across the state of Florida and all along the Eastern seaboard and the Gulf Coast,
Andrew’s anniversary is an occasion to learn from the past and to recognize the unpredictable
and powerful nature of hurricanes, along with the absolute necessity of good planning and
preparation throughout every hurricane season.
When Andrew struck just south of Miami, it made landfall with peak sustained winds of 165
miles per hour, and gusts of up to 175 mph. Now classified as a rare Category 5, the
hurricane pushed a massive storm surge up Biscayne Bay, and delivered more than 7 inches
of rain along the core of its path. Damages from the storm totaled more than $25 billion
dollars throughout the Bahamas, Florida and the Gulf states, with thousands of homes lost
and many more damaged.
FPL's storm preparedness and recovery processes were also significantly challenged by
Hurricane Andrew. As crews worked feverishly to restore power after the storm, FPL
developed and perfected some of the systems now in place to map storm damage and to
estimate restoration times.
“At FPL, hurricane preparation is now part of our daily operations, every day we're not in a
storm we're preparing for one. On this anniversary, we urge our customers to prioritize
disaster planning too,” said Keith Hardy, FPL's vice president of Distribution. “We are always
working to help the communities we serve prepare for the next storm. Every year we make
multi-million dollar investments in our infrastructure to make it more resilient.”
In the past two decades, advances in technology have changed every step in the hurricane
preparation and recovery process. New forecasting tools allow for more frequent
assessments of a storm’s path and intensity, and better computer modeling has improved
accuracy, especially on the intensity front. At the same time, technology has altered the way
that information is communicated - before, during and after a hurricane. Today, storms can be
tracked on-line, on mobile devices, through social media outlets, and of course through
traditional media sources.
“In the past twenty years, our ability to respond to hurricanes and to keep our customers
informed of our progress has improved dramatically with the advent of advanced
technologies, and FPL is working to bring new tools to the forefront every day,” said Hardy.
FPL has harnessed technology to enhance the way that it communicates with customers
before and after hurricanes, and the way that it pre-positions restoration crews and models
the damage to its system from a storm. To help with preparation, FPL offers customers a
wealth of information and tips on its website, http://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 (http://www.twitter.com/insideFPL),
Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/FPLconnect) and YouTube
(http://www.youtube.com/FPL). FPL’s blog (http://www.FPLblog.com) is also an important
source of news.
Technology advancements also allow FPL to inform customers about the post-storm
restoration process 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 same time, technology gives FPL the ability to
streamline and shorten the restoration process by providing real-time location of crews and
crew movements through a super-GPS technology called Restoration Spatial View.
“But the fact is, while much has changed since Andrew reached our shores,” said Hardy, “one
simple truth remains the same: hurricanes carry with them a potentially overwhelming
destructive power, and when a major storm hits, power will be interrupted, trees will fall and
water will rise. Floridians must understand this fact and make every preparation for it.”
To view photos, please visit: http://www.fpl.com/newsroom
About Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest electric utility in Florida and one of the largest
rate-regulated utilities in the United States. FPL serves 4.5 million customer accounts in
Florida and is a leading employer in the state with approximately 10,000 employees. The
company consistently outperforms national averages for service reliability while customer bills
are below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions
profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL is
a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla. - based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more
information, visit http://www.FPL.com.
FPL Media Line
Florida Power & Light Company
700 Universe Blvd.
Juno Beach, FL 33408