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FLORIDA POWER & LIGHT ISSUES ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON HURRICANE ANDREW

FLORIDA POWER & LIGHT ISSUES ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON HURRICANE ANDREW
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Following is additional information from Florida Power & Light Company regarding customer safety and preparedness, FPL's priorities for assessing damage to the electrical system and plans for restoring service after the storm.
 An FPL storm preparedness news release was distributed to all Florida news media via PRNewswire and your own fax networks at approximately 1:15 p.m. (Sunday)./
 1. Q: What things should I do to prepare for the approaching storm?
 A: Listen to the hurricane preparedness and/or evacuation recommendations that will be provided by lead agencies such as your local emergency management or civil defense office, Red Cross, police and others.
 In addition to their very specific and thorough recommendations, FPL suggests the following as it may relate to electrical safety and storm preparedness:
 If you're preparing to leave your home, unplug or turn off appliances. If you're going to remain at home, it's still a good idea to turn off or unplug most appliances with the exception of lighting. This reduces the chance of overloading circuits when power is restored. It's also an important safety factor should you later leave your home and forget that you had appliances such as a stove or iron on when the power went out.
 During clean up after the storm, do not pile storm debris near utility poles. Piles of trash and debris make it difficult for FPL repair crews to access power lines to restore power.
 2. Q: If/when the storm hits, what should I do if the power goes out?
 A: If your home or business is in the direct path of the storm, you have not evacuated and your power goes off, you should assume that you will be without power for quite some time.
 Turn off any electric appliances that may have been on, except lighting so you won't forget about them and create a safety hazard when the power is turned back on -- for example, a stove, iron or hot plate. Remember to include your air-conditioning among appliances you turn off.
 3. Q: How do you tell the difference between telephone, television cable and electrical lines? How can I tell if standing water is electrified? How can I tell if a fallen line still has electricity in it?
 A: Consider all cables and wires as being energized regardless of whether they are electrical, cable television or telephone.
 After a hurricane any one of these wires can be energized if it falls and gets wrapped around an energized line whether it's a few feet or a block away. If the line is in the water, there is even more reason to be cautious and consider it and the water energized.
 4. Q: Does FPL ever cut off power to facilities because of anticipated damage (flooding)? What circumstances might prohibit FPL from turning the power back on?
 A: FPL does not de-energize facilities because of anticipated damage such as flooding or high winds. The protective, disconnect devices on all electrical equipment remain energized until adverse conditions of a storm or hurricane cause them to operate as designed and shut off current if conditions demand. The devices will not be switched back on until the storm has passed and the facilities are inspected to ensure safe re-energizing.
 Generally once sustained winds reach about 35 mph (and building) FPL does not attempt to restore service as conditions would endanger the safety of employees. As soon as the storm is past, assessments will be made and crews deployed.
 Poles down, wires down, trees in the lines and other unsafe conditions are all examples of damage that would prevent FPL from turning the power back on until other work can be accomplished.
 5. Q: Once the storm has passed, what are FPL's priorities for service restoration?
 A: FPL's priorities for storm restoration are intended to emphasize health, safety and essential community services and to restore service in a manner that will affect the greatest number of customers first, then smaller numbers.
 Specifically, FPL's priorities are:
 -- Initial clearing of main transmission lines that carry bulk electrical power, as well as substations that facilitate the long- distance transportation of power from various generating sources. These FPL facilities must be given first priority or there would be no way to get power from the generating units to the population centers and ultimately the end-users.
 -- Repair of main distribution lines (called feeders) and service to essential customers -- those facilities that are essential to the health, safety and welfare of the community.
 -- Restoration of selected distribution lines where it is possible to energize large groups of customers by making minor repairs.
 -- Block by block restoration of remaining power lines. As FPL gets to neighborhood and individual service assessments, customers will be provided a note (door hanger), as appropriate, regarding special problems that may require the services of an electrician before service can be restored.
 -- Traffic signals -- addressed and prioritized by geographic regions at county and city request. Traffic signals belong to the city, county or state and often must be repaired or replaced by their crews before FPL can re-energize lines that power them.
 -- Repair of street lights and final clean up survey.
 6. Q: Who does FPL consider "essential customers" and why do they get a high priority during service restoration?
 A: FPL gives its highest priority to the following customers or essential services groups who provide for community health and safety. As much as possible, and depending on factors occasionally beyond FPL's control, all receive equal priority attention:
 -- Communications, including police radios for city, county and state; federal radio communications and broadcasting transmitters; local television and radio stations; daily newspapers.
 -- Telephone and telegraph.
 -- Gas supply utilities (manufacturing plants).
 -- Hospitals (surgical) and blood banks.
 -- Public service facilities, Red Cross facilities, city halls, county court houses, garbage disposal facilities, incinerators, health departments and U.S. weather bureaus.
 -- Designated sewage pump and disposal plants (sanitary & storm).
 -- Water supply utilities and fire pumps.
 -- Transportation services, including air transportation facilities, bridges (electrically operated), bus service shops, railroad shops, signal systems and water towers, and metro rail/rapid transit systems.
 7. Q: At what point should a customer know to call FPL? FPL says don't call just after the storm passes; why? If I don't call, how will FPL know my service is out and how will I know when it will be restored? Are there any circumstances when I should call FPL?
 A: When widespread outages are occurring due to the hurricane, it is recommended that customers initially not call FPL so the lines can remain open for critical and emergency situations. Damage assessments will be incomplete. Except for limited crews and essential services, most FPLers will have been sent home to be with their families and secure their homes during the storm, just like most everyone else.
 Following the storm, FPL employees will be doing their best to get to their job sites to begin the process of restoring electric service.
 FPL customers are encouraged to call immediately after the storm has passed if they have lines down or sparking in or near their yard, or if potential hazards exist that would prevent family members from being able to leave or enter the home or neighborhood.
 Patrols to assess electric service damage will be initiated as soon as possible after the storm passes. These initial damage inspection reports will then be evaluated, crews scheduled and prioritized, and repair and restoration materials identified. (See specific Q&As on restoration and customer priorities.)
 After a period of time, FPL customers should call if they are the only one in their neighborhood without service.
 However, before calling FPL, check all circuit breakers or fuses to help determine if your service outage might be the result of a household problem. If the problem is not readily apparent, FPL utility personnel will assist in determining if the problem is household versus utility. It is FPL's intent to work with the news media to advise what sections are out of power and what sections have been restored.
 8. Q: How should I hook up my electrical portable generator?
 A: Connecting a portable or recreational vehicle (RV) generator to home wiring can cause safety problems. Ideally, appliances should be directly plugged into a generator, using extension cords if necessary. If you must hook the generator up to the main electric panel, it is very important to disconnect your home from the utility electrical system. If not disconnected, power can flow from your generator or RV into the outside utility lines and injure unsuspecting utility crews working to restore service. It could even injure a neighbor if power from your generator flows along common lines to another house.
 When electrical service is restored to your area, take another safety step and disconnect your portable generator or RV before turning on the power to your home. If you don't, the generator can be damaged.
 When using a portable generator make sure it has proper ventilation. A portable generator should only be operated outside the house. Remember that the generator's rated wattage is a function of the number of appliances or "load" that the generator will power. The wattage of the lights or hot plate or other appliances you run off the generator as a total should not exceed the rated wattage of the generator.
 The manufacturer's recommendations must be followed for proper usage and load. If you have any doubts, consult a qualified electrician.
 9. Q: From an electrical perspective, what precautions should be taken upon returning home to a house that has been flooded?
 A: If you have any doubts about your home electrical system or you do not have sufficient knowledge of electrical wiring and appliances, call a professional electrician. If you choose to attempt to restore your household service yourself, some common sense safety precautions should be taken before you attempt to reset your breakers or replace blown fuses:
 When approaching your home, watch for downed wires. If you see any, do not proceed -- they may be energized. Call FPL.
 Upon re-entering home, disconnect all electrical appliances. Do not attempt to reset breakers or replace fuses until all water has receded. Use caution. Some circuits above the flood level may still be energized. Do not stand in water when operating switches, plugging in or unplugging appliances or resetting breakers or replacing fuses.
 Be sure to wear dry shoes with rubber soles and stand on something dry and non-conductive, such as a dry piece of wood or wooden furniture.
 When resetting breakers, use a dry and non-conductive "tool" such as a dry wooden stick or piece of PVC pipe.
 When resetting breakers, use only one hand. Place the other hand behind your back. Do not make contact with the metal breaker box and other grounded objects in the area.
 If breakers will not reset and continue to trip, call a professional electrician. This condition might indicate a short-circuit in your electrical system.
 Before re-plugging electrical appliance into wall sockets, be sure the appliances have been checked for water damage and all cords and other parts are dry.
 If, after plugging in an appliance, the breaker trips (or fuse blows) or you see smoke or smell a burning odor, disconnect the appliance immediately and have it checked by a qualified appliance serviceman.
 10. Q: When FPL customers do need to call, what are the numbers they should call? If the number is busy and it's a life threatening situation, what phone number should I call?
 A: In the case of a life-threatening situation, call 911. FPL works closely with local county and city police, fire and other emergency services and would provide crew support if necessary.
 FPL phone numbers are listed on your monthly electric bill receipt or in your local phone book.
 CONTACT: Florida Power & Light Company corporate communications department, 305-552-3894 or 305-552-3895.
 -0- 8/23/92


CO: Florida Power & Light Company ST: Florida IN: UTI SU:

TS -- NYSU010 -- 2400 08/23/92 15:39 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Aug 23, 1992
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