With another active hurricane season predicted, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today received a briefing from the Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM), the lead agency that plans for and responds to hurricanes, as well as other natural and man-made disasters. The PSC is the primary state agency responsible for coordinating with DEM and electric and natural gas utilities during emergency response situations.
DEM discussed with Commissioners the PSC’s role, especially during hurricanes, to track and publish updated power outage information. DEM also spoke about its broader role as the state’s liaison with federal and local agencies on emergencies of all kinds. To prepare for these emergencies, DEM implements a statewide Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and tests state and county emergency response capabilities through training exercises.
At the state’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the PSC provides 24 hours/7 days a week staffing for Emergency Support Function-12 Energy (ESF-12) when needed. “During emergencies we maintain contact with electric and natural gas utilities serving the affected areas to assess damage and ongoing service restoration efforts,” said PSC Chairman Andrew Giles Fay. “In coordinating response activities, the EOC uses this information to allocate resources for regional recovery efforts.”
“Being ready for power outages during hurricane season is a critical component of hurricane preparedness,” said DEM Director Kevin Guthrie. “The Division’s collaboration with the PSC is integral in our response and recovery efforts to help restore power, and return our residents’ lives and businesses back to normal.”
Already a month into the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which runs through November, residents should be ready in case a storm strikes. Visit DEM’s www.floridadisaster.org for information on how to plan and prepare for hurricane season.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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