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FPL STORM TEAM PREPARED FOR '93 SEASON

 MIAMI, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The 1993 hurricane season officially got under way June 1 and Florida Power & Light Company is primed to respond efficiently if a hurricane strikes.
 "We've been training our people for years on how to respond in a major storm situation," said Bob Marshall, vice president of distribution, "but until we gained the actual experience with Hurricane Andrew, we didn't know how bad it really can get. I've never seen the level of support and enthusiasm that has been displayed by our storm team employees who participated in this year's storm training efforts."
 Storm team employees -- approximately 3,000 FPL office workers who provide support to FPL's regular line crews -- have completed an eight week training program in which they are taught to recognize numerous kinds of equipment damage in the field and report it to repair crews. Most of these employees normally perform functions such as engineering, clerical, accounting or purchasing. Their training culminated with a "dry run" on May 26 during which FPL tested its emergency storm plans by dealing with the simulated effects of a hurricane ravaging the FPL service area.
 "As we demonstrated during Hurricane Andrew, our storm forces are like the National Guard or Reserves in that they are part-time soldiers called into service during an emergency. Immediately after hurricane force winds diminish, these employees begin surveying assigned areas to locate and report problems. This frees repair crews to concentrate solely on service restoration," Marshall said.
 FPL has replenished its reserve inventory of more than $2.8 million of materials, equipment and tools that might be needed to repair storm damage. And its vendors have been alerted to beef up their inventories and supply capabilities so that they, too, are ready to respond quickly should the need arise. Commonly-used supplies are pre-packaged in sets, ready for shipment to areas hardest hit by storms.
 "Hurricane Andrew, like other hurricanes before it, taught us important lessons that we've incorporated into our storm planning. These lessons include things such as activating staging areas to support our crews more closely to areas of greatest destruction; working more closely with local, state and federal agencies to cooperate on traffic control, restoration priorities and road clearing efforts; expanded radio communications, etc.," Marshall said.
 Immediately following Hurricane Andrew, approximately 1.4 million FPL customers were without electric service. Within 34 days of the storm, all customers who were capable of receiving service had it restored. "Without the aid of storm-trained office personnel, those outages could have been even longer," Marshall said.
 Marshall also said that contingency plans to request additional crews from other utilities and contractors in the Southeast remain in place, should the need arise. FPL crews were assisted by nearly 4,000 men and women from other utilities and contractors in restoring service following Hurricane Andrew. "And we're prepared to return that support should one of their areas suffer damage as we did," he added.
 In the event a hurricane should strike somewhere in FPL's 35-county service area this season, Marshall cautions FPL customers to:
 ...stay away from wires that are down or dangling. A seemingly harmless wire may still be energized. Report such conditions to your local police or FPL as soon as possible.
 ...avoid using the telephone to report that your power is off unless service has been restored to others in your neighborhood. This helps keep telephone lines clear for police and other emergency services.
 ...be sure to use extension cords if you operate a portable generator. DO NOT hook your generator to your internal home wiring.
 -0- 6/3/93
 /CONTACT: Florida Power & Light Company Corporate Communications Dept., 305-552-3894 or 305-552-3895/
 (FPL)


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

AW -- FL013 -- 5050 06/03/93 14:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 3, 1993
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