How do utilities prepare for storm season?
Long before storm season, utilities develop response plans and options to mitigate damage and recover from destruction as quickly as possible. Experience from past storms helps in the planning process and the ability to incorporate lessons learned ensures rapid recovery. Southwest Florida has had their fair share of storms and LCEC restoration plans have been refined over the years.
Investment in systems and programs yearlong is aimed at reducing vulnerabilities. LCEC continually hardens the electric system by proactively inspecting, identifying potential problem areas and aging infrastructure, and repairing or replacing before the storm rolls in. Routine vegetation management helps to keep lines clear of trees and brush that could cause power outages.
No crisis can be managed without skill, knowledge, resources, and patience. Every employee and LCEC vendor is on deck when the threat of a storm rears its ugly head. The restoration plan is practiced long before the first tracking model is published and many potential scenarios are considered. No storm is the same and there is no way to know what each situation will bring. However, a plan for additional resources, places to feed and house them, extra fuel, additional inventory and equipment, communications, fleet maintenance, and many other details are all proactively considered so that boots can be on the ground as quick as possible to restore critical infrastructure and help the community get back to normal.
*How can you help in the restoration process?
Developing a plan for your family or business is critical. Remaining safe and comfortable without power is not a thrill but it is possible. Practice your plan and implement it when needed. Be patient and trust that utilities and their people are working as hard as possible to restore service quickly. Use the information in this guide to make your life easier while they work.
Immediately after a major storm, there is no need to report an outage. Utilities will assess the damage and know where repairs are needed. After a few days, if you are the only one in your location without service, that is the time to contact your provider.
Work together as a community while utilities focus on restoration. If you have power, offer assistance to others without. Offer encouragement and support to all emergency responders. As frustrated as you may be, remember they are away from their families and working under challenging conditions to help you get on with your lives.