FMEA holds annual hurricane & storm preparedness forum in Gainesville

Posted By: Dave Heller Association News , Industry ,
FMEA Executive Director Amy Zubaly

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) held its annual Hurricane & Storm Preparedness Forum – a one-day event offering presentations on hurricane preparedness and response, mutual aid, FEMA, and other disaster and emergency response related issues, as well as opportunities for Florida Public Power utilities to share best practices and lessons learned from each other. The event was held at the Hilton UF Gainesville Conference Center in Gainesville on Wednesday.

Approximately 150 forum attendees represented FMEA’s member utilities across the state. Highlights from this year’s forum included a presentation on mutual aid reimbursement by Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. Deputy State Meteorologist Michael Spagnolo, also with the Florida Division of Emergency Management, provided his 2022 Hurricane Season Outlook in advance of another projected active hurricane season.

“In the aftermath of a hurricane or tropical storm, Floridians rely on our industry partners in power and utilities to restore power and help our communities start the recovery process,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. “Forums such as this provide these industry partners with the opportunity to share best practices and work collaboratively to ensure our state remains prepared as we enter the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season.”

Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie

In addition to trimming trees near power lines, as well as inspecting and upgrading utility poles and equipment, Florida Public Power utilities have been taking steps throughout the year to ensure reliability and minimize outages by strengthening electrical systems and upgrading substations. They have also been conducting hurricane exercises and extensive training to improve hurricane response and power restoration efforts.

“The annual Hurricane & Storm Preparedness Forum is just another way Florida Public Power utilities are working to maximize our efforts to ensure reliable power during a storm, and when power restoration efforts are needed, that we can do that as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Amy Zubaly, FMEA Executive Director. “Our deepest appreciation to Director Guthrie and Deputy State Meteorologist Spagnolo, and all the presenters, for being with us today and sharing important information with our members as we gear up for another hurricane season.”

Florida Deputy State Meteorologist Michael Spagnolo
Florida Deputy State Meteorologist Michael Spagnolo

Florida’s Public Power utilities are locally owned, locally controlled and locally operated, enabling them to quickly respond to the needs of their communities. They are also among some of the most affordable and reliable power providers in the state.

For more information on FMEA and Florida’s Public Power communities, please visit www.flpublicpower.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Three broadcast quality video clips of Deputy State Meteorologist Michael Spagnolo are available in this online folder: 2022 Hurricane Outlook.  The clip includes Spagnolo's overview of the projected hurricane season. (Format: 1920x1080 mp4)

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The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) represents the unified interests of 33 public power communities across the state, which provide electricity to more than 3 million of Florida’s residential and business consumers.