Florida Power & Light holds annual storm drill amid preparations for hurricane season 2024

Published on May 13, 2024 by Chris Galford


With hurricane season less than a month away, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) recently gathered its employees for an annual, week-long storm drill, and urged customers to prepare as well.

That drill saw workers undertake a simulated Category 4 hurricane, as the company tested their capabilities to respond to some of the worst nature has to offer. Preparation takes many forms, though. Over previous months, the company has poured money into grid enhancements, from undergrounding lines to protect against severe weather, to installing more than 215,000 intelligent devices along the energy grid to detect and prevent outages, as well as reduce restoration times during those outages.

“At FPL, we operate under the premise that it is a matter of when – not if – a major storm will strike,” Ed De Varona, FPL vice president of power delivery, said. “That’s why we prepare year-round and why we are relentlessly focused on building a resilient grid and drilling on preparation and restoration. Our customers should know that we are prepared for the upcoming hurricane season. But, they should also know that no system is stormproof and that they should share our commitment and prepare their own emergency plans.”

Still, the work has paid off – FPL reported its smart grid deployments have helped avoid more than 600,000 outages combined during significant hurricanes. It added that undergrounding has helped its lines perform up to 12 times better than traditional lines. The company has also strengthened nearly all main power lines serving critical community facilities and services. Most transmission structures are now made of steel or concrete.

For customers, FPL urged preparing plans ahead of any storm, especially for those with medically essential power needs. The company recommended hiring professionals to trim trees growing near power lines, stockpile batteries and to familiarize oneself with any owned generators, among other things.