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News Release

Tampa Electric preparing for Ernesto's impact; company offers storm safety tips for customers

TAMPA, August 28, 2006

Should Tropical Storm /Hurricane Ernesto impact the area, Tampa Electric has a comprehensive response plan to restore service as quickly and safely as possible. The company is closely monitoring the progress of the storm.

Customers are also encouraged to implement their personal storm plans.  In addition to the numerous precautions area residents can take to protect their families and property, the company offers a few key tips:

  • Stay away from any downed power lines.  These lines may still be energized. If so, they are dangerous.  Downed lines do not have to pop and snap to be energized.  All persons should avoid any contact with any downed line or any object, such as a tree branch, fence, vehicle or even water that has come in contact with a downed power line.  It is safest to assume any downed power line is energized.
  • Use portable generators safely.  DO NOT connect a portable generator to home circuits. Plug appliances directly to the generator.  Connecting a generator to home circuits may cause power to flow to outside lines, posing life-threatening danger to restoration crews. Also, portable generator must NOT be taken into a residence or any enclosed space where deadly carbon monoxide gasses could build up.
  • Obtain a telephone that plugs directly into the wall jack.  Portable household telephones won’t work without electricity and area cell phone systems could be disrupted.
  • In the event of an outage, prepare the home for power restoration.  Customers should make sure their homes are ready to safely receive electricity once power has been restored.  Make sure there are no flammable items on the stove, no irons left on or other potentially dangerous situations.  Turn off as many appliances as possible that require electricity and turn them on one by one after power is restored.  This causes less stress to the power system and ensures that all customers get restored without unnecessary delays.  Customers may want to leave their front porch light on so they will know when power is restored.  When in doubt, or when leaving the home for an extended period, customers should switch off their power at the main breaker.

If customers experience a power outage, or if they notice a downed power line or other power emergency, they should call Tampa Electric’s toll-free dedicated emergency/power outage line: 1-877-588-1010.

Customers are encouraged to update their primary phone number (the most frequently used phone number associated with their home address) at Tampa Electric’s automated outage management system matches a customer’s phone number to their address when they call, which helps the company pinpoint their outage.

Visit online for more information

For additional media materials, information about Tampa Electric's storm plans, or to obtain one of Tampa Electric's storm season brochures, visit

The site offers a “Weather Watch” section, including current weather information, an emergency checklist, a downloadable storm brochure, storm preparedness tips, useful weather links and more.

Also available online is information on 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.

Tampa Electric is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), an integrated energy-related holding company with regulated utility businesses, complemented by a family of unregulated businesses. In addition to Tampa Electric, other subsidiaries are engaged in natural gas distribution, coal mining, waterborne transportation, and electricity generation and distribution in Guatemala.

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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