While preparing for every unexpected storm can be difficult, there are actions residents can take prior to a severe storm. Power companies in the Florida Keys are among the best in the world when it comes to restoring power after a hurricane. So when you see the Keys Energy and Florida Keys Electric Co-op trucks on the road after a storm, give them plenty of room to work — and thank those crews for what they’re doing. Take the time, now, to prevent outages when you can, and prepare for what may come.
CHECK TREES AROUND YOUR HOME
Before a storm threatens, check the power lines surrounding your home. Take special notice of the “service drop” lines that connect your home to the nearest pole. If you see trees that could damage those lines in high winds, please contact FKEC or Keys Energy.
Make a tree trim request. If you see vegetation posing a potential threat to power lines, FKEC customers can submit an online tree trim request at www.fkec.com/services/vegetation-management or by calling 305-852-2431. Keys Energy customers can call KEYS at 305.295.1010 to submit a tree trimming request, or submit your tree trimming request online.
During a storm, FKEC and Keys Energy Services will use all means of communication to keep customers informed. FKEC customers can sign up for outage texting. This service allows FKEC to send you power outage and restoration information as well as allowing you to report outages via text. Note, your mobile number must be pre-registered with FKEC to report via text. www.fkec.com/outage-center. Keys Energy customers can find out information on outages by visiting keysenergy.com/report-outage.
Before, during and after a storm, FKEC will share valuable information at www.FKEC.com,on Facebook @FloridaKeysElectricCooperative and email to communicate. FKEC encourages members to have a current email address registered with the co-op. FKEC members can update contact information through our SmartHub our online/mobile app or at https://fkec.com/access-your-account/ Keys Energy will provide information at keysenergy.com and on Facebook @keysenergy.
If you have internet access after a storm, Keys Energy Services website also features an outage map that shows where power is out throughout its service area (Key West to the Seven Mile Bridge). FKEC also has a live outage viewer map where you can track the status of power outages. There is a prominent link on our home page but the direct link is: http://126.96.36.199:91.
PROTECT YOUR HOME
Implement meter mounted surge protection. To protect your home from power surges, use a surge protector mounted at the electric meter in combination with plug-in surge protectors for individual voltage sensitive electronic devices. Before a storm threatens is the time to make sure you have adequate shutters and all the equipment needed to secure your house or business.
If you or someone in your home is dependent on electric-powered, life-sustaining medical equipment, it is your responsibility to have an emergency plan for backup power or a plan to relocate when a storm warning is issued. Residents are encouraged to seek safety and follow any evacuation orders set by Monroe County.
STAY AWAY FROM DOWNED LINES
Like a ripple in the water, electricity from a downed line flows into the ground in a big circle up to 35 feet away. This means even getting near a downed power line can be deadly. Stay clear of all downed power lines or electrical equipment. Assume all cables and wires are energized and stay away. Call 911, FKEC at 305.852.2431 or Keys Energy at 305.295.1010 to report fallen power lines that present a clear and imminent danger to you or others.
Stay away from flooded areas, or standing water and debris, which could conceal “energized” wires.
Stay away from downed or sagging power lines, and do not touch anything that is on or near a power line (i.e., trees or tree limbs, cars, ladders).
Keep children and family pets away from areas where lines may have fallen (backyards, schoolyards, etc.).