Alabama Power to conduct storm drill in preparation for hurricane season

Media is invited to tour company Storm Centers and observe the drill on Wednesday, May 26 at 8:30 a.m. at Corporate Headquarters or the Mobile Division.

Alabama Power is preparing for the 2010 hurricane season by conducting a storm drill at Corporate Headquarters May 21-26.  The drill is in partnership with the Southeastern Electric Exchange (SEE), a trade association of investor-owned electric utilities.  The drill will simulate a hurricane moving up through the mouth of Mobile Bay. 

“We have been fortunate to not have had a major hurricane since 2005.  It is important for us to stay prepared and keep our skills sharp,” said Pam Boyd, Distribution Planning manager.  The drill also focuses on logistics including communications, the movement of personnel and equipment, and construction of temporary staging areas for housing and food, Boyd said.

The simulation will feature weather maps from ImpactWeather, Inc. and involve employees from Alabama Power, Southern Company and the SEE.  The storm will start as a tropical storm east of the Bahamas and will increase to hurricane strength as it approaches Alabama.  Daily conference calls will take place to discuss the storm’s progression and the companies’ preparedness.

While the simulation offers an opportunity to hone storm preparation skills, Alabama Power continues to look for ways to further improve storm restoration operations. Here are some of the activities that have taken place in preparation for this year’s hurricane season:

  • The company has reviewed its storm plan and made appropriate adjustments to emergency storm assignments, staging area locations, logistics and communications equipment designed to improve response capabilities.
  • The company has boosted the number of trained employees available for the Storm Center to make sure it has the personnel needed for 24-hour operations over lengthy storm restoration efforts. The company continues to expand the number of employees available from other departments who can play a variety of supporting roles in storm recovery operations.
  • The company has increased the inventory of materials for storm season, including pre-packaged kits ready for storm restoration. The kits contain hardware – including clamps, nuts and bolts – plus fuses, lightning arrestors and other material typically needed by crews making storm-related repairs. The company is working with its current suppliers to ensure they are ready to quickly provide materials and supplies during storm recovery operations.
  • The company has conducted frequent discussions with utility companies that comprise our mutual assistance program. Under the program, investor-owned utilities in the region pledge to provide crews to assist Alabama Power when a major storm strikes, depending on their availability, and Alabama Power pledges to assist others when they need help.

To learn more about how Alabama Power responds to storms, and how you can prepare for the season, log on to Click on “About Us” and then “Storm Center.”

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO), provides electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across the state.

Media contact: Hallie Bradley 205-257-4155