JUNO BEACH, Fla. – In 2023, FPL plans to make a number of upgrades in Fort Lauderdale as part of its ongoing effort to improve resiliency in the face of severe weather.
The investments include moving more power lines underground, strengthening overhead lines and installing more intelligent devices along the energy grid to help detect potential problems and restore power faster when outages do occur.
The upgrades have the added beneﬁt of improving day-to-day reliability for customers as well.
“FPL plans to place 750 overhead powerlines underground across Florida in 2023 as it expands its Storm Secure Underground Program (SSUP).”
Ofﬁcials say the company plans to make the following improvements in and near Fort Lauderdale this year:
• 44 Storm Secure Underground Program (SSUP) projects planned. The program started in 2018 to replace more overhead neighborhood power lines with underground service.
• Strengthening 20 main power lines, including those that serve critical services that are necessary for communities to recover faster after major storms.
• Maintaining trees and vegetation – a common cause of power outages, particularly during hurricanes and severe weather – along 365 miles of power lines.
• Inspecting 4,869 power poles in Fort Lauderdale as part of an eight-year inspection cycle, strengthening or replacing those that no longer meet FPL’s industry-leading standards.
• Installing smart grid technology, including 162 automated switches on main and neighborhood power lines to help detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur.
• Inspecting 136 main power lines and equipment using infrared technology to detect issues before they cause a power interruption.
When the planned 2023 work is completed, FPL will have made the following improvements in and near Fort Lauderdale since the historic 2004-2005 hurricane seasons:
• Strengthened 86 main power lines, including those that serve critical services.
• Inspected and maintained vegetation near 3,911 miles
of power lines – an average of 230 per year.
• Inspected all 26,804 power poles every eight years.
• Installed smart grid technology, including 3,234 automated switches on main and neighborhood power lines.
• Inspected 238 main power lines and equipment using infrared technology.
“No energy grid is hurricane-proof, and storms will continue to cause power outages, but detailed assessments following 2022’s Hurricanes Ian and Nicole showed FPL’s investments to storm-harden its energy grid continue to beneﬁt customers, speeding restoration,” said Manny Miranda, executive vice president of Power Delivery for FPL.
Ofﬁcials said strengthening power poles, managing trees and vegetation near power lines, installing smart grid technology to ﬁx problems before they affect customers and using robots and drones to regularly inspect equipment have helped FPL improve its service reliability by 41% since 2006, and have helped reduce both the number and duration of outages, as well as the number of momentary interruptions or power flickers.
SSUP is a concerted effort to place more neighborhood power lines underground. It is designed to help speed restoration efforts, reduce restoration costs, and reduce customer outages. FPL completed more than 1,200 SSUP projects since SSUP started, ofﬁcials said, and will expand the program in 2023 with about 750 projects planned across the state.
“We are committed to investing in innovative solutions and technology,” said Tim Bryant, local director of external affairs for FPL. “We work year-round so our customers across Florida can resume their normal lives safely and as quickly as possible after storms.”
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“Company oﬃcials say recent assessments following Hurricanes Ian and Nicole showed the grid is more storm-resilient than ever.”
Assemble disaster supplies
Whether you’re evacuating or sheltering in place, you’re going to need supplies not just to get through the storm but for the potentially lengthy and unpleasant aftermath. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of three days (store a longer than three-day supply of water, if possible).
Electricity and water could be out for weeks. You’ll need extra cash, a battery-powered radio and flashlights. You may need a portable crank or solar-powered USB charger for your cell phones. And lastly, don’t forget your pets!
Call your insurance company or agent and ask for an insurance check-up to make sure you have enough insurance to repair or even replace your home and/or belongings. Remember, home and renters insurance doesn’t cover flooding, so you’ll need a separate policy for it. Flood insurance is available through your company, agent, or the National Flood Insurance Program at floodsmart.gov. Act now, as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period.
Take the time before hurricane season begins to document your possessions: photos, serial numbers, or anything else that you may need to provide your insurance company when ﬁling a claim.
Create communication plan
Take the time now to write down your hurricane plan, and share it with your family. Determine family meeting places, and make sure to include an out-of-town location in case of evacuation. Write down on paper a list of emergency contacts, and make sure to include utilities and other critical services. Remember, the internet may not be accessible during or after a storm. Strengthen Your Home
Now is the time to improve your home’s ability to withstand hurricane impacts. Trim trees. Install storm shutters, accordion shutters, and/or impact glass. Seal outside wall openings. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand hurricane-force winds. Many retrofits are not as costly or time consuming as you may think. If you’re a renter, work with your landlord now to prepare for a storm.
Also remember, now is the time to purchase the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to have on hand if you need to board up the windows and doors ahead of an approaching storm.