KISSIMMEE, Fla., June 1, 7:30 am — Hurricane season officially begins today, and Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) has fine-tuned its customer service and electricity restoration plans to respond efficiently if a storm strikes.
Each year KUA employees participate in a mock disaster drill to prepare the utility should a hurricane or tropical storm strike somewhere in KUA’s 85-square mile service area in Osceola County. This storm season, all of KUA’s 300 employees were trained as part of the drill.
“Our entire focus following a severe storm or hurricane is to minimize customer inconvenience and restore electricity just as quickly as possible,” said Chris Gent, KUA’s manager of corporate communications.
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 more and better information to customers.
“Real events and our annual disaster drill enable us to identify strengths and weaknesses and to put improvements in place on an on-going basis,” Gent said. “We learned from helping others after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Georges in 1998, and we learned from our own experience following Hurricane Erin in 1995.”
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, KUA 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.
Founded in 1901, KUA is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric, water, and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.
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Manager of Corporate Communications
(407) 933-7777 ext. 1116