Tampa Electric prepares to weather the storm
TAMPA, June 1, 2000
As summer storm season approaches, Tampa Electric is working hard to ensure its customers' safety before, during and after a storm. Tampa Electric's comprehensive storm plan is in place and ready to help restore power as quickly and safely as possible in the event of a storm.
Storm season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, is a particularly vulnerable time for the Tampa Bay area. Severe storms can do extensive damage to Tampa Electric's energy delivery systems, and power outages are not uncommon during storm conditions.
To prepare customers for storm season, Tampa Electric offers current weather information, an emergency checklist, a storm brochure, storm preparedness tips, useful weather links and more in the "Smart & Safe" section of the Tampa Electric Web site at www.tampaelectric.com.
During and after a storm, Tampa Electric maintains frequent communication with the news media so that electric customers and the public are kept informed.
In addition, Tampa Electric encourages customers to purchase the Zap Cap System, Tampa Electric's complete year-round surge suppressor system for homes and businesses, to protect sensitive electronics and appliances from damaging, high-voltage power surges.
To repair damage and restore power as quickly as possible, Tampa Electric carefully reviews and updates its storm plan annually.
Here's how the plan works:
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.
The company's objective is to restore power to the largest number of customers in the shortest possible time. However, safety is Tampa Electric's primary concern throughout the restoration period. The intent is to restore power to the entire service area as uniformly as possible.
To implement the storm plan, Tampa Electric relies upon many departments to work through storm emergencies. Tampa Electric employees receive and coordinate damage information, establish work priorities and relay information to crews in the field.
Preparation begins before the storm arrives.
When a storm's arrival is imminent, crews are placed on call so that they are immediately available to repair any damage affecting Tampa Electric's lines and equipment. During extremely hazardous conditions, however, field crews do not begin restoration work until they can do so safely.
Customers play a role in restoring service.
Tampa Electric's storm plan also relies on teams of employees patrolling the electric system to identify or pinpoint problems. Customers can enhance these efforts by customers 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.
- Caution: Use portable generators safely. DO NOT connect your portable generator 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. Also, portable generators must NOT be taken into residence or any enclosed space (including a closed garage) where deadly carbon monoxide gases could build up.
For additional media materials, or information about Tampa Electric's storm plans, please visit the TECO Energy Online Newsroom at www.tecoenergy.com, or pick up one of Tampa Electric's storm season brochures at your local Tampa Electric office.
Tampa Electric is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE). TECO Energy is a diversified, energy-related utility holding company based in Tampa. In addition to Tampa Electric, its principal businesses include Peoples Gas; TECO Power Services; TECO Transport; TECO Coal; TECO Coalbed Methane; and Bosek, Gibson and Associates.
Ross Bannister –