After the Event
Tips For Residents In The Event Of A Power Outage
If power goes off
- Open the refrigerator only when necessary.
- Keep blinds closed during the day to keep the house cooler, or keep them open if you want the house warmer.
- Conserve hot water.
- If the weather is pleasant, you may wish to open windows.
- Turn off or unplug electrical appliances and sensitive electronics, such as air conditioners, stoves, televisions and computers. This avoids the possibility of damage from a power surge.
- If electrical circuits and electrical equipment have gotten wet or are in or near water, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel.
- To report a downed power line, call 9-1-1 or FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE. Consider all downed power lines LIVE!
Keep safe during a power outage
Assume all cables and wires are energized and stay away.
If a power line falls across your car while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not turn off the ignition. Warn people not to touch the car or the line. Call or ask someone to call the local utility company and emergency services. Do not allow anyone other than emergency personnel to approach your vehicle.
Keep away from flooded and debris-laden areas because they may be hiding downed lines.
Run your portable generator outside your house or building and connect appliances directly to it.
If you leave your home, turn off all appliances or turn off your main breaker.
Avoid driving in damaged areas to avoid interfering with rescue or restoration efforts, as well as jeopardize your own safety.
If you see frayed wiring or sparks when you restore power, or if there is an odor of something burning but no visible fire, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker.
If you have a portable generator, do not connect it to your home's circuits. Plug your appliances directly into the generator. Connecting your generator to your home's circuits may cause power to flow to outside lines, posing life-threatening danger to power restoration crews.
Reporting an outage
- FPL knows when a power outage occurs. You need to report it only if:
- your neighborhood is restored and you are still without power
- your power comes on, but goes back off
- you don't have power by the date announced for your are
- To report an outage, call 800-4-OUTAGE (800-468-8243). This automated system will record your outage. Have your account number available.
- Before you report an outage:
- Check all circuit breakers or fuses to help determine if your service outage might be the result of a household problem.
- Call a licensed electrician if you have significant water damage in your home that might make it unsafe for you to receive electricity.
- Inspect the area outside your home near the meter. If the meter or any of the piping and wires on the wall of your home or office is gone or look damaged, call an electrician. You may need to make repairs to home wiring before FPL can reconnect your power. If no problems are apparent, FPL will re-connect your service or assist in determining whether you have a household problem.
Residents can participate in a new interactive FPL Power Tracker online map that shows in near real-time the location of any power outages across FPL's service territory. Customers can enter an address, city or ZIP code at FPLmaps.com to find out if there are any other power outages currently affecting an area.
The FPL Power Tracker map can be accessed via a battery-powered laptop with Internet connection, most smart phones and Internet devices, or by asking a friend or family member to go online from another location.
Clicking on the outage map icons reveals details of the following:
When power is restored
- The time than an outage began or was reported
- The number of FPL customers affected by a particular outage
- The cause of an outage
- The latest status report on the progress of the restoration
- The estimated time that the power will be restored
- Check to ensure all appliances are plugged back in and turned off.
- Reset your clocks, VCRs and other electronic devices, such as a security alarm system.
- Safety should always be your first priority when pruning.
- Look up to ensure that you are not working near a power line.
- Be especially careful when working with a ladder, scaffold, pole or tree in your yard.
- Do not attempt to remove or trim foliage within 10 feet of a power line.
- If a tree or tree limbs have fallen on a power line or pulled it down, do not attempt to get close to the line or the tree.
- If the line is sparking or if the situation presents a clear and imminent danger to you or others, call 9-1-1 or FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE and report it as an emergency.
- FPL crews must cut away trees that have fallen into power lines or that are in the way to find and fix damage safely and as quick as possible. As they move along to restore power, crews will leave debris where the tree fell. It is the responsibility of the property owner or the local government to remove cuttings and tree debris. Contact your local government’s waste management office for information on refuse collection.
- Debris piled near poles and under power lines makes it difficult for crews to access areas where repairs are needed. Residents can help clear the way for crews by keeping storm debris away from utility poles.
FPL will begin damage assessment and restoration as soon as weather conditions permit. Stay tuned to local radio and television stations and check your newspaper for specific reports on FPL's progress in assessing and repairing damage to the electrical system in your area. In the meantime:
- Consider every power line energized!
- Stay away from downed lines, flooding and debris.
- DO NOT walk in standing water.
- DO NOT venture out in the dark (you may not see a downed power line)
Visit FPL.com for news of storm restoration and maps or call 800-4OUTAGE (800-468-8243). FPL will communicate restoration information via its mobile storm center mobil.FPL.com, Twitter, Facebook, FPL.com and FPLBlog.com.
Power Restoration Priorities
FPL crews converge on hardest hit areas first and stay on the job until everyone has power again. However, there are priorities for service restoration:
- Power plants and transmission lines that move electricity to communities.
- Main power lines that send electricity to neighborhoods. Power is restored to health and safety services (hospitals, police, fire, etc.) that communities need first.
- Lines that will bring power to the most people in the fewest hours.
- Lines serving smaller groups, followed by individuals with isolated problems, such as broken transformers. (It does not help to fix a transformer before lines feeding power to the transformer are fixed.)
Top Tips – Gas (TECO/Peoples Gas)
- To report a gas leak, call 9-1-1.
- During and after severe storms, TECO Energy/Peoples Gas crews are available to respond to natural gas emergencies. For 24-hour service, call 1-877-832-6747.
- If you evacuate your home or business, DO NOT turn off the gas supply at the main meter. Only emergency or utility personnel should turn the valve on or off. If you choose to do so, you can turn off the gas for individual appliances at the appliance valve near each unit.
- If you are having difficulty relighting pilot lights, or if gas appliances have been exposed to flood waters, do not attempt to operate the appliance. Contact your plumber, or a qualified appliance service contractor or your gas company, so they may assist you in locating a qualified appliance service contractor for a safety inspection.
- For additional storm tips for gas customers, click here.
- If you suspect a gas leak, don't light a match, use any electrical appliances, turn lights on or off or use the phone. These may produce sparks. Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the gas appliance. If you smell gas or hear gas escaping, turn off the main valve.
- Immediately evacuate to another location if you smell natural gas (odor of rotten eggs) or see a broken gas line. Ventilate the area by opening windows or leaving a door open.
- Immediately call the gas company from a telephone outside of the home or building. If you are unable to contact your gas company, call 9-1-1.
- Do not light any matches, turn on any light switches, or use the telephone. Any of these actions could ignite gas that may have accumulated.
- Do not cover a natural gas vent with tarps or other coverings. When protecting damaged roofs, be sure to allow air to flow through the natural gas vent. Blocking the vent can create a potential hazard of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If a natural gas system or natural gas venting is damaged, contact a plumber or qualified service contractor for natural gas appliances. Peoples Gas can provide a referral through its Energy Advantage Partner program. Call 1-877-832-6747, option 4.
- To prevent a gas explosion and fire, have gas appliances (natural gas or LP gas) inspected and cleaned after an event, such as flooding.
- If gas appliances have been under water, have them inspected, cleaned and their gas controls replaced, if necessary. The gas company or a qualified appliance repair person or plumber should do this work. Water can damage gas controls so that safety features are blocked, even if the gas controls appear to operate properly.
- If you have any questions or have any difficulty relighting the pilot lights on your appliances, call your plumber, qualified appliance service contractor or your gas company, so they may assist you in locating a qualified appliance service contractor.
- Before removing fallen trees, always call for the location of utility lines. Gas, electric, telephone, water, sewer and cable lines may be entangled in the root system of the fallen trees. Call 1-800-432-4770. The call and the location service are free.
- In case of outages due to damaged lines, the gas company's primary responsibility is to make the affected area safe. After the area has been made safe, service to affected customers will be restored as soon as possible.
- If you suspect a natural gas leak, check your pilot lights to see if a burner valve has been left partially on. If you can't find the source, open windows and doors to disperse the gas and call Peoples Gas.
- If you smell gas and the odor is extremely strong, leave the building at once. Call Peoples Gas from a neighbor's phone. Do not use your phone or light any matches. Do not operate switches or electrical devices or pull plugs from outlets. Any of these actions could ignite gas that may have accumulated.
- Refrain from calling the gas company during these times, unless you smell gas. In that event, call the gas company immediately.
- Do call the gas company if you do not have gas service after the gas service has been restored in your area.
- Always ask for identification from service personnel before allowing them to enter your home.
- Be patient! Expect delays in getting calls through because of the high demand for service after a storm. Keep trying.
- Continue to keep calls to a minimum to allow emergency calls to get through.
- Try text messaging. During an emergency situation, text messages may go through more quickly than voice calls because they required fewer network resources. All of AT&T’s wireless devices are text messaging capable.
- Camera phones provide assistance. If you have a camera phone, take, store and send photos-even video clips of damaged property to your insurance company from your device.
- If you have a question but cannot find the answer in your yellow pages telephone directory, call the number listed for residential or business services depending on your need. To request residential repair when calling:
- From a AT&T phone - dial 611
- From wireless or non-AT&T phone or outside of Florida - 1-800-432-1424.
- In Spanish, from a AT&T phone -1-888-707-2840
- In Spanish, calling from wireless or non-AT&T phone or outside of Florida -1-800-828-4652.
- To request a business repair when calling:
- From a AT&T phone -866-620-6900
- From wireless or non-AT&T phone or outside of Florida – 1-800-252-0803