Report: Florida utilities’ storm preparation effective

Published on October 18, 2016 by Robert Moore

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) reported on Friday that the measures Florida utilities took in preparation for Hurricane Matthew, in addition to subsequent restoration efforts, enabled communities to effectively weather the storm and quickly return to normal.

“We appreciate the teamwork and mutual aid between utilities that worked together in hard-hit communities to return power to schools, businesses, and homes as quickly as possible,” PSC Chairman Julie Brown said. “Overall the fast, efficient, and thorough response of Florida’s utilities to aggressively restore power until the last customer’s lights are back on is a tribute to our state’s resiliency.

“Florida’s investor-owned utilities now collect and instantly incorporate real-time outage data into their storm restoration efforts. Following Hurricane Matthew, utilities communicated directly with customers, providing real-time information through social media, smartphone, and tablet applications. Florida’s utilities are setting the model for storm restoration plans used across the industry.”

The PSC hosts storm hardening workshops every year, typically in March. Utilities will present recent facility updates, as well as updates to various utility storm-hardening activities. Utility hardening plans also include the collected forensic data used during storm preparation analysis. Hurricane Matthew was the first true test of the system in more than a decade.