Gulf Power Foundation gives $200,000 to relief and restoration efforts
It was about 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, when Hurricane Michael’s fierce winds moved through Bay County, but Gulf Power’s planned response to the storm had begun much earlier. With crews from around the country staged and ready to move in, the mission to rebuild and restore began in full force 12 days ago.
As the storm restoration teams consolidate into the areas of Bay County that were pummeled by the eye wall of Michael, it is clear that rebuilding the electric system alone will not bring back power to thousands of customers left with severely damaged homes and businesses. Although Gulf Power is on track to meet their Oct. 24 restoration timeline for 95 percent of the customers who are able to safely receive power, the restoration work will not stop there. Gulf Power will have crews ready to reconnect customers as soon as they have made the necessary repairs to safely receive power. The restoration progress can be viewed on the updated restoration map.
“This is a long path to recovery. We have more than 200 of our own teammates who live and work in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Michael, so they know firsthand the challenges our customers are facing,” said Sandy Sims, Gulf Power’s Eastern District general manager, which includes Bay County. “This is our home, and our commitment to rebuilding and recovering extends beyond the electric system. With many of our customers no longer able to safely receive power due to significant damage, the need is great.”
Although restoring power is a critical first step to rebuilding, there are many community partners working diligently to bring needed resources to the communities that have been impacted by Hurricane Michael. From the beginning, Gulf Power has partnered with others that are assisting with recovery efforts in Panama City and the surrounding areas. As part of this effort, the Gulf Power Foundation has made the following contributions.
- $100,000 to the Red Cross of Northwest Florida for relief and restoration in Bay, Washington, Jackson and Holmes counties.
- $100,000 to the United Way of Northwest Florida’s Hurricane Michael Relief and Disaster Fund
“Our community has inspired us. Our storm restoration team has been overwhelmed by the support, appreciation and encouragement they have felt in every neighborhood, even where hurricane damage is the most devastating.” said Sims. “It’s our privilege to be part of this purposeful work of recovery, and right now, we have no greater purpose than helping to restore light and hope for this community.”
Estimated Restoration Times – View map for a visual of estimated restoration times
Customers can find their estimated restoration time for their home or business by going online and following the below instructions.
- Go to outagemap.gulfpower.com
- Click the SEARCH button
- Type your address into the search box
- The map will display your submitted address marked with a blue flag icon
- Click on the nearest outage icon or colored outage area covering your address
- The “Estimated Restoration” time will be listed at the top of the “Outage Information” box
Preparing for power
Gulf Power wants to make sure customers know what they can do now to ensure they can be safely connected at the earliest opportunity when power is restored to their area.
- Know what you need to repair – Homeowners and businesses are responsible for electrical equipment attached to the house (service stack, attachment hardware, riser and meter box). Gulf Power is responsible for the wire or service line to the house and the electric meter. If the homeowner’s equipment is damaged, repairs will be needed before Gulf Power can connect service. See this graphic for more information.
- Keep area near and around power poles clear of debris – As customers clean up from the storm, it is important to keep all debris at least 10 ft. away from all electrical equipment, such as power wires and poles or the green padmount box on the ground (pictured here). It is especially important not to place debris on top of the green padmount box. This can make it difficult for lineworkers to perform connection work and can present a danger during debris removal.
- Transfer/Reconnects – For customers that need to transfer their service due to Hurricane Michael, visit GulfPower.comor call 1-800-225-5797. The Account Establishment Charge will be waived for residential customers relocating within Gulf Power’s service area due to Hurricane Michael. The AEC will also be waived when the customer reconnects service at the original premise location, following repairs or rebuilding. This does not apply to temporary service poles.
- Disconnects – For customers who will no longer be able to safely take power due to severe damage from Hurricane Michael, visit GulfPower.com or call 1-800-225-5797 to disconnect your home.
Stay Connected with Gulf Power
- To get the latest updates on outages, customers can download Gulf Power’s app and access the outage map for the latest restoration information. The app is free and available for iPhone and Android. Just search for “Gulf Power” in iTunes or the Google Play Store.
- Visit MyGulfPower.com and click on the outage map for restoration updates.
- Customers can follow Gulf Power updates on Facebook or Twitter – #RebuildingTogether #RestoringHope #PowerofTeamwork #FloridaStrong
- Gulf Power knows when your power is out. However, you can call 1-800-487-6937 if you have any questions about your outage.