As the hurricane season looms on the horizon, Florida Power & Light (FPL) is actively gearing up with a unique approach by staging drills for a fictional category 4 storm dubbed “Hurricane Benito.” The simulated hurricane, boasting winds of 135 mph, targeted Miami and Fort Lauderdale in an imaginative exercise designed to test the company’s readiness. This drill underscores the serious preparations underway as FPL confronts the possibility of such formidable natural events, according to a report from WSVN.

In a state all too familiar with the devastation wrought by hurricanes, these drills reflect an intense vigilance. FPL’s scenario brought Hurricane Benito to life, causing hypothetical havoc across regions still recovering from past storms like Hurricane Ian, which in 2022 unleashed significant destruction near Fort Myers, claiming 150 lives and disrupting power for millions. Ed DeVarona, FPL’s Vice President of Power Delivery, commented to, “Every day we don’t have a storm is a day we are preparing for one,” emphasizing the constant state of readiness.

This year, the National Hurricane Center predicts an above-average storm season, with the potential emergence of at least three major hurricanes. These predictions stem from the complex interplay of weather systems in the Atlantic and Gulf, creating a perennial uncertainty about when and where these storms might strike, leaving communities on edge about the prospect of future reconstructions.

In response to these challenges, FPL has not only simulated outages but has also equipped their crews with advanced technologies to enhance response efforts. During the drills, crews congregated in their emergency operations center, strategizing over computer-generated crises. Mike Ochoa, a senior line specialist at FPL, highlighted the utilization of real-time loss detection sensors and drones for rapid aerial assessment, which facilitates precise repair efforts. “I can honestly say that each of these tools… make it easier for line workers like myself,” Ochoa explained in a statement obtained by WSVN. Further strengthening their system, FPL has taken proactive steps by burying more power lines underground and replacing older wooden poles with more durable metal or concrete ones, significantly mitigating the extent of damage and repairs needed after storms.


Amidst this backdrop of technological advancement and strategic preparation, the drills play a crucial role. They not only test the robustness of FPL’s operational plans but also instill a sense of confidence among the populace. With over 12 million people depending on their services, FPL’s commitment to ensuring continuous power supply and quick restoration after disruptions is critical.

Florida’s unique geographical position, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, subjects it to frequent and sometimes severe meteorological threats. This reality makes the comprehensive and imaginative preparations by FPL all the more vital for the resilience of the state’s infrastructure and the safety of its residents. As FPL continues to brace for the hurricane season with innovative drills like those for “Hurricane Benito,” it highlights an ongoing commitment to safeguarding against the unpredictable wrath of nature, ensuring that they remain steps ahead of the next big storm.