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News Release

Tampa Electric prepares year-round for storm season

TAMPA, May 27, 2004

Summer storm season starts June 1 but Tampa Electric works year-round to provide for customer 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 system of wires and equipment that reliably delivers electricity to your home or business. Severe storms can damage Tampa Electric's energy delivery systems, and power outages are not uncommon during storm conditions.

Priority Restoration

Tampa Electric’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 during the restoration period. The intent is to restore power to the entire service area as uniformly, and as safely, as possible.

To be able 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.

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.

During and after a storm, Tampa Electric seeks to maintain frequent communication with the news media so that electric customers and the public are kept informed.

When a major storm's arrival is imminent, crews are placed on call so that they are available to repair any damage affecting Tampa Electric's lines and equipment but only when they can do so safely.

That's where you come in.

If you've changed your home telephone number - that is, the telephone number at the location where your residential electric service is delivered - Tampa Electric needs to know. You can go online now and update your record at

To pinpoint the source of your outage all we need is your telephone number. By taking a moment to send us your telephone number Tampa Electric's outage management system (OMS) will be updated and ready to automatically generate a work order for repair crews if an outage occurs at your home or place of business.

When you call to report an outage, Tampa Electric's automated phone system uses your telephone number at the location where service is delivered to detect the trouble spot. It is the fastest, most efficient way we can restore your power.

The OMS reduces human error through automation. It groups outage calls by location, checks them against a detailed circuit model database and predicts where the problem is. Updated mobile computers in their trucks allow troublemen to tap the expanded information and quickly respond to the outage.

From there simply follow the instructions.

Information available online

To help 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.

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 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 in Hillsborough County, (863)-299-0800 in Polk County or 1-888-223-0800 (toll-free) all other counties and out-of-state. Please be aware that due to storm impact on the area's communications infrastructure, it may be difficult to reach Tampa Electric immediately.
  • 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 a residence or any enclosed space where deadly carbon monoxide gases could build up. 

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, visit

Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:TE), a diversified holding company of energy-related businesses that include Peoples Gas System, TECO Transport, TECO Coal, TECO Wholesale Generation and TECO Solutions.

Media Contact
For journalist inquiries only:

TECO Energy, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas
TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
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