New fold-out shelters can bring utility into heart of storm-damaged areas
TAMPA, May 31, 2017
Hurricane season starts June 1, and Tampa Electric is ready for whatever Mother Nature has in store. The company’s year-round preparations enable crews to handle the potential impacts of hurricanes and widespread power outages.
Tampa Electric’s comprehensive storm plan is in place and crews are ready to help restore power as safely and quickly as possible in the event of severe weather. The company also recommends that customers have a storm plan in place for their homes or businesses.
Hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30, is a particularly vulnerable time for the system of wires and equipment generating and delivering electricity to homes and businesses. Severe storms can damage Tampa Electric’s energy production and delivery systems, and power outages are not uncommon.
This year, Tampa Electric has some new additions to our field fleet: seven Fold-Out Rigid Temporary Shelters (FORTS). They are portable command posts that provide temporary office space in the field, including internet access. In conjunction with our Mobile Command Center, the FORTS allow us to set up full incident bases in multiple locations – this helps get our storm leaders into the hardest-hit areas, which means a more efficient restoration effort.
Tampa Electric invests more than $55 million annually in a 10-point plan to harden the system against severe weather, which includes infrastructure replacement, tree trimming and pole inspections. In 2016, Tampa Electric:
Tampa Electric wants customers to be prepared
Tampa Electric encourages all of its customers to have a personal storm plan in place for their home or business. Visit the Storm Safety page on tampaelectric.com for tips, restoration information and additional guidance.
Assistance is available to those with special needs during storm-related emergencies. Tampa Electric recommends that customers with special needs pre-register at floridadisaster.org/getaplan or with their local emergency management agency. These agencies provide aid to those who require special assistance during evacuations and sheltering because of physical, mental or sensory disabilities. Those offices can be reached at the following numbers: (813) 307-8063 in Hillsborough County, (863) 298-7027 in Polk County, (727) 847-2411 in Pasco County and (727) 464-3800 in Pinellas County.
Reporting emergency and non-emergency power outages
Tampa Electric offers customers several ways to report power outages:
Customers can monitor and track outages in their neighborhoods through the outage map at tampaelectric.com/outagemap. The map displays the cause, status and estimated restoration time. Tampa Electric also will use Facebook facebook.com/tampaelectric and Twitter @tampaelectric to keep customers informed about outage restoration.
For non-outage inquiries, customers should use the following numbers:
Updating customer contact information
To fully use the automated power outage phone system, Tampa Electric recommends that customers update the phone numbers by logging into their account at tecoaccount.com. The system can recognize customers’ phone numbers or Tampa Electric account numbers and match them to the address when you call, helping the company locate outages quickly .
Electrical safety guidelines
As with all its activities, safety is always Tampa Electric’s No. 1 priority after a storm. Following a storm, Tampa Electric teams patrol the electric system to locate problems. Customers can enhance their safety and Tampa Electric’s restoration efforts by observing the following guidelines:
Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 730,000 customers in West Central Florida. Tampa Electric is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
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TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
Tampa Electric is an Emera company.
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