ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - Progress Energy Florida is monitoring the movement and expected track of Tropical Storm Isaac, which is currently forecast to make landfall in Florida early next week, possibly as a hurricane.
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, has a detailed storm plan in place and has begun preliminary preparations to ensure quick power restoration if the storm affects the company's service territory. The plan enables the company to mobilize equipment, vehicles and thousands of employees and supplemental contractors who train outside their normal jobs for storm-specific duties in support of restoration efforts.
"We prepare for every scenario," said Jason Cutliffe, storm director for Progress Energy Florida. "We're prepared to respond in the event that Isaac or any other storm damages the electric system. We know our customers rely on us to keep them informed and restore service safely and quickly after storms."
Progress Energy Florida works year-round to maintain the company's 20,000 square-mile service area. Progress Energy invests thousands of staff hours and more than $150 million each year to strengthen its 35-county Florida system against storms. This includes the replacement of poles and other equipment upgrades to minimize the likelihood of outages when storms strike. This companywide focus has enabled Progress Energy to reduce outage times and speed restoration significantly over the years.
Options for reporting and tracking outages
Customers can call Progress Energy Florida's automated outage reporting line at 1.800.228.8485. Progress Energy's automated outage reporting system is capable of handling more than 120,000 calls per hour. In addition, the utility has online resources to allow customers to report outages using computers and compatible mobile devices.
Progress Energy Florida encourages customers interested in using mobile devices or computers to report outages to register in advance of a storm. Customers will need their account number, located on their bill, to register. For information on all of the utility's outage reporting options, visit progress-energy.com/storm.
To keep customers informed following a storm, the company has developed an online outage map showing up-to-date information about current outages and estimated restoration times. The outage map can be viewed at www.progress-energy.com/outagemap.
Progress Energy Florida also sends updates on storm-related outage restorations via Twitter and Facebook. Customers can follow Progress Energy at www.twitter.com/ProgEnergyFL and www.facebook.com/ProgressEnergyFlorida.
Tips to stay ahead of the storm
Progress Energy Florida urges customers to be prepared for hurricane season:
- Create (or update) an emergency supply kit containing the following items: portable radio with fresh batteries, flashlight, first-aid kit, non-cordless landline phone, canned or packaged food that can be prepared without cooking or refrigeration, several days' supply of drinking water, medicine and cash.
- Review your insurance policy and put a copy in your supply kit along with copies of other important paperwork.
- Review your evacuation plan and decide where you will stay if you need to leave your home. Don't forget to include your pets in the plan. Many shelters don’t accept animals.
- If you or someone you provide care for relies on electric-powered life-support equipment, make plans to move him or her to a facility outside the storm's projected path to avoid the risk of an extended power outage.
For additional storm information and safety tips, visit www.progress-energy.com/storm.
Excellence in storm response
Progress Energy's commitment to excellence in storm response has earned the utility the Emergency Response Award from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) five times. Progress Energy also won the EEI Emergency Assistance Award for its role in aiding utilities and citizens in Texas and Ohio following Hurricane Ike in 2008, and in the Gulf Coast region after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. In 2011, Progress Energy crews deployed to Alabama and Georgia to assist with restorations following destructive tornadoes that struck that region.
Progress Energy Florida
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. More information is available at www.progress-energy.com.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.