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Public Service Commission


05/28/2009 Contact: 850-413-6482

PSC Helps Floridians Prepare for Hurricane Season

TALLAHASSEE — The erratic and unpredictable hurricane season is back for its annual visit.  Are you prepared?  Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) can help you and your utility companies prepare for any storms that may reach Florida’s shores.

“Hurricanes and severe weather are a fact of life in Florida.  To help the state’s utilities better prepare, the PSC strengthened its storm hardening rules a few years ago,” said PSC Chairman Matthew M. Carter II.  “At home, Floridians can make storm preparation fun by using our Hurricane House.”

Involve the children in storm planning by exploring the PSC’s interactive, online Hurricane House together.  Click on each room or item to learn 19 ways to prepare your family and your home for severe weather, from storing fresh water to dealing with downed power lines.  Find the Hurricane House in English and Spanish under Hot Topics on the PSC’s Web site at ConsumerAssistance/HurricaneHouse.

Proper preparation is key to coping with all phases of severe weather, from the storm’s approach to the aftermath.  To assess the readiness of the state’s utilities, the PSC held its annual hurricane preparedness workshop in early May.  Commissioners heard from the state’s major electric and telephone companies about efforts to protect transmission and distribution facilities from storm impacts, including vegetation management; maintenance and repairs; and coordination with other utilities, government, and community groups.

Hurricane preparedness workshop presentations for each participating utility can be found under Hot Topics at ElectricNaturalGas/HurricanePreparationWorkshops.

Other PSC-required actions to prepare the state’s investor-owned utilities for severe weather include an ongoing program to inspect wooden utility poles, an annual distribution service reliability report from each IOU, and a storm hardening plan filed every three years for review.  All requirements are designed to enhance reliability while reducing restoration costs and outage times.

The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.

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