-Richard Gibbs of FPL shares important information on storm preparation-
(Black PR Wire) MIAMI, FL -- Tropical weather in Florida is a way of life. The Sunshine State leads the nation in landfalling hurricanes with nearly 120. Properly preparing for hurricane season now can save you and your employees unwanted stress when a storm is imminent. The key is having a plan in place when that time comes. Here are some tips from Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) to help get you going as we head into the heart of storm season.
- Ensure your employees’ contact information is up to date.
- Have a plan in place to communicate after the storm passes, e.g. set up a telephone number with a message featuring updates to inform employees of the status of company operations.
- Establish a safe area away from exterior glass windows and doors if you plan to shelter at your business.
- Identify what you need to secure your building, important equipment and who will help; outline specific tasks and conduct a training session.
- Bookmark FPL.com/outage and save 1-800-4OUTAGE to your cell phone to report and check the status of your restoration.
- Download FPL’s Mobile App in the App Store or Google Play, or text the word "App" to MyFPL (69375).
- Read and follow all the manufacturer’s guidelines when using a generator to avoid dangerous shortcuts and ensure safe operation.
- DO NOT directly connect your generator to your business’s breaker or fuse box. Power from a generator connected to a business’s wiring will "back feed" into utility lines – which can severely injure or kill a neighbor or utility crew working to restore power.
- DO NOT run generators inside your business or garage.
- Keep generators away from all open windows to prevent the fumes from entering your business.
- Use a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm to monitor possible dangerous gas levels.
- Turn off all connected appliances before starting your generator.
- Turn connected appliances on one at a time, never exceeding the generator’s rated wattage.
- DO NOT touch a generator if you are wet, standing in water or on damp ground.
- NEVER refuel a hot generator or one that is running – hot engine parts or exhaust can ignite gasoline.
- Have plenty of gas safely stored in gas containers to operate your generator.
Before a storm:
- Pay attention to instructions from public officials and the media.
- Identify outdoor equipment, materials and structures that could become airborne and move them to a safe location.
- Park vehicles in safe, protected areas such as a covered garage.
- Charge your cell phone and keep it ready by obtaining portable chargers.
- Make multiple back-ups of computer files and data and store records off premises.
- Run a special voice message informing employees and customers on the status of company operations.
- Close offices with sufficient time to allow employees to secure their own homes, and inform clients that you’re closing early and when you plan to reopen.
After a storm:
- Make your safety and the safety of your employees a priority.
- DO NOT travel, or ask employees to travel, until it is safe to do so.
- Watch for downed power lines. Call 911 or FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE to report fallen, dangerous power lines. Always assume that every power line is energized.
- Take inventory to determine and record losses – based off of photos and recordings you took for insurance purposes.
Always keep safety top of mind and see more valuable storm tips at FPL.com/storm.
Richard Gibbs, senior communication specialist with Florida Power & Light Company, is a member of FPL’s storm media team.