KISSIMMEE, Fla., June 1, 2011 – With today’s start of a new hurricane season, Kissimmee Utility Authority is ready to quickly and safely restore power should a destructive storm hit the Central Florida area.
Utility employees recently completed a mock disaster drill to prepare for this year’s storm season. KUA uses lessons learned from the annual drill and from previous storms to improve its response to future storms.
“Our entire focus following a severe storm or hurricane is to minimize customer inconvenience and restore electricity as quickly as possible,” said KUA president and general manager Jim Welsh. “We purposely drill each year to make sure that our employees are ready to respond if a storm hits.”
Immediately after hurricane-force winds diminish, KUA’s crews are dispatched to patrol and assess damage, and begin the complex process of power restoration. KUA has modified its storm plans over the years to improve flexibility in responding to different types of storm situations and to provide better information to customers.
To further facilitate its restoration efforts, KUA has increased its inventory of materials, equipment and tools that might be needed to repair storm damage. In addition, the utility has reciprocal contingency plans for assistance that can bring more workers from other utilities and contractors in Florida and from out of state, if necessary.
In the event of an outage, customers are asked to call KUA’s automated outage reporting line at 407-933-9898.
To help its customers prepare for storm season, KUA has released its 40-page 2011 Osceola Hurricane Handbook. The free guide can be downloaded at http://kua.com/hurricane.
Founded in 1901, KUA (http://kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 64,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.
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Chris M. Gent