Living and working on the Gulf Coast means being prepared for tropical weather from June through November. And for Gulf Power Company, storm preparations are given an especially high priority so the company can be ready to restore electricity as fast and as safely as possible.
“We prepare year-round for storm restoration,” said Jeff Rogers, Gulf Power spokesman, “and our crews have been recognized as some of the best in the nation for emergency restoration work.”
Whether storms hit Northwest Florida or other areas of the eastern United States, Gulf Power crews are usually involved in helping communities come back to life. Last year Gulf Power was given the Emergency Response award from the Edison Electric Institute for its power restoration work in communities along the Gulf of Mexico and eastern Atlantic Coast – including helping out after Hurricane Sandy in New England.
“Our plans have proven effective — but we always try to learn something and to sharpen our skills during each restoration effort,” Rogers said. “ We want to be at our best for our customers when the next hurricane or tropical storm hits Northwest Florida.”
During the month of May, Gulf Power steps up its preparations, reviewing emergency plans including the logistics of bringing in thousands of outside workers to help in the restoration efforts.
The company follows a detailed plan to rebuild the electrical system following a hurricane and works closely with county and state Emergency Management personnel. Every Gulf Power employee has a storm assignment and, is expected to report for storm duty.
“Providing assistance to other utilities gives us a chance to help others just as they have helped us in the past. The work is long and hard, but we are prepared and willing to help if needed,” Rogers said. “Everyone knows their assignments and it’s amazing to see our employees come together and implement a restoration plan — whether here or somewhere else.”
Planning is also important for Gulf Power’s 430,000 customers. Gulf Power’s storm center website offers comprehensive preparation and safety information, as well as general storm tips and directions on how to report outages. The storm center can be accessed at GulfPower.com/storm and is also available on mobile devices. More information also will be available on Gulf Power’s Facebook page.
Gulf Power Company is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 431,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely deliver affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible electric service to our customers while working to improve the communities we serve. Visit online at GulfPower.com or on the company’s Facebook page, “Gulf Power Company.”