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'It's not a matter of if but when:' FPL conducts annual storm drill in preparation for hurricane season

'What this technology does is, it puts that communicating with those smart meters into the palm of our engineers hands,' FPL spokesperson Jack Eble says
Posted at 5:11 PM, May 09, 2024

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — FPL is making sure its team of nearly 3,000 employees are ready for hurricane season and they're showing how new technology is being used to better prepare ahead of storms.

Experts at both Colorado State University and AccuWeather are predicting an active hurricane season.

One of those predictions show 11 strong storms, with five of them having the potential to become major storms.

"We are prepared for hurricane season, and that's a part of our year round process," FPL spokesperson Jack Eble said.

 FPL spokesperson Jack Eble storm drill May 9 2024
FPL spokesperson Jack Eble says FPL is prepared for hurricane season.

Eble said FPL prepares for hurricane season all year long. Thursday's drill is a way for them to get the message out to Floridians to be ready and be safe.

This year, WPTV is learning more about FPL's smart grid and restoration spatial view. It's technology that allows engineers to see exactly which meter in any part of the state has damage and how to get power back as quickly as possible. The grid is made up of 215,000 devices spread out throughout the state, making it easy to pinpoint outages and reroute electricity to impacted areas.

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Using this technology, they've been able to prevent 13 million outages since 2011.

"What this technology does is, it puts that function, that communicating with those smart meters into the palm of our engineers hands," Eble said. "When a crew is out in the field, they can touch this light bulb. This is going to be the line and this is how they're going to figure out if a customer has power, can receive power or cannot."

 FPL spokesperson Jack Eble shows how smart meters track power outages.png
FPL spokesperson Jack Eble shows how smart meters track power outages and communicates with multiple diagnostic centers around the state.

FPL said the smart meter communicates with multiple diagnostic centers around the state of Florida.

"We're able to take the function, the communication, all the technology that we have inside this building on the road," Eble said.

FPL said even the strongest grids are not storm proof, which is why they're making sure their employees are trained and that they can restore power quickly if a catastrophe happens.

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2024 STORM NAMES

Alberto

Beryl

Chris

Debby

Ernesto

Francine

Gordon

Helene

Isaac

Joyce

Kirk

Leslie

Milton

Nadine

Oscar

Patty

Rafael

Sara

Tony

Valerie

William

TERMS TO KNOW

TROPICAL STORM WATCH: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.

TROPICAL STORM WARNING: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.

HURRICANE WATCH: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

HURRICANE WARNING: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.