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News Release

Lights out too long? During severe weather Tampa Electric has its priorities

TAMPA, June 3, 2002

A severe storm can damage Tampa Electric's energy delivery systems, and power outages are not uncommon during storm conditions.

To be able to repair damage and restore power as quickly as possible, Tampa Electric has a carefully developed service restoration action plan that it reviews and updates annually.

During an outage electric service is restored in a pre-determined order of priority. Hospitals, disaster centers and police and fire stations come first. This way, these critical agencies can assist with other storm-related problems or injuries

Water and sewer installations are next, followed by telephone service providers and residential customers who depend on power for life-support systems

Then company's objective is to restore power to the largest number of customers in the shortest possible time. Sometimes during a large outage a small cluster of four or five homes may take the longest amount of time to restore.

With sufficient lead-time prior to a storm, crews are placed on call so that they are available to repair any damage affecting Tampa Electric's lines and equipment when they can do so safely

Customers play a role in restoring service.

Safety is Tampa Electric's primary concern during the restoration period. The intent is to restore power to the entire service area as uniformly, and as safely, as possible. Customers can enhance these efforts by observing the following guidelines:

  • Stay away from any downed power lines. These lines may still be energized. If so, they are dangerous. All persons should avoid any contact with any downed line or any object, such as a tree branch, fence or vehicle that has come in contact with a downed power line.
  • To report a power outage or downed power lines, please contact the company immediately at 813/ 223-0800 inside Hillsborough County or 1-888-223-0800 (toll-free) outside Hillsborough County. Please be aware that due to storm impact on the area's communications infrastructure, it may be difficult to reach Tampa Electric immediately.
  • If either a portable or permanently installed emergency generator is connected to your home’s electrical system, use a throw-over switch (consult with a licensed electrical contractor). This is very important because if it is not done, the generator will backfeed electricity to power lines that may be down in a neighbor's yard or a line that is being repaired by one of our utility crews. This can cause a fatal electrical shock to someone in the neighborhood, or to a utility worker.

Help protect yourself and your possessions.

Tampa Electric encourages customers to purchase the Zap Cap System® for Home or for Business, Tampa Electric's complete year-round surge suppressor system for homes and businesses, to help protect sensitive electronics and appliances from damaging, high-voltage surges.

For additional media materials, information about Tampa Electric's storm plans, or to obtain one of Tampa Electric's storm season brochures, Zap Cap System or emergency preparedness kits, visit www. tampaelectric.com.

For more information contact Ross Bannister at (813) 228-4945, or visit online at www.tampaelectric.com.

Tampa Electric is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), a diversified energy-related holding company headquartered in Tampa. Tampa Electric has supplied the Tampa Bay area with electricity since 1899. Its West Central service area covers approximately 2,000 square miles, serving more than 550,000 residential and commercial customers with reliable power and value-added services. In addition to Tampa Electric Company, TECO Energy's principal businesses include Peoples Gas System, TECO Power Services, TECO Transport, TECO Coal, TECO Coalbed Methane, and TECO Solutions.

Media Contact
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CHERIE JACOBS
TECO Energy, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas
TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
E-mail: cljacobs@tecoenergy.com Email Icon