Post-Storm Power Restoration FAQs

Q.) How is power being restored following a storm or hurricane?

  • The restoration and rebuilding process begins with our transmission lines. Transmission lines are the larger lines on the taller poles that bring power from our generating plants to the substations. Planes and drones fly the lines, inspect for damage and transmission crews begin the process of repairing any damage.
  • While the transmission lines are being repaired, substation crews are simultaneously inspecting and repairing our substations. Substations step down the voltage of the electricity from the power plants to a level that is usable in homes and businesses.
  • While repairs are being made to the substations, crews are also inspecting and repairing the distribution lines, which carry electricity from our substations to homes and businesses.



Q.) Is there priority given to certain facilities or locations during a widescale restoration?

  • After facilities to make and move power are repaired – power plants, transmission lines and substations – the focus shifts to emergency responders such as facilities critical to public health and safety like hospitals, police and fire stations, water reclamation sites and communications systems. Following emergency service restoration is the large service areas which, when restored, will energize large amounts of customers efficiently.



Q.) What do you mean by “those able to accept power?”



Q.) Everyone on my street has power but me. Why?

  • Most likely, either your service line from the pole is disconnected or your home has damage to your weather head mast or meter box. That equipment is your responsibility to repair. Please call Gulf Power at 1-800-487-6937 to report your outage.



Q.) Why did my power come back on and then go off later?

  • There are several reasons why your power can go off temporarily after restoration.  Power to your area may have been shut off in order to safely restore service to other areas or there may have been residual damage that occurred such as a tree limb falling on a power line.



Q.) Sometimes I see crews parked. Why?

  • Some of the reasons why there may be a crew parked are that they may have finished their prior assignment and are reviewing their next assignment, they may be requesting additional equipment and materials, or they may need to wait for electrical switching to occur to make the line safe or energize them.



Q.) Why are crews leaving my neighborhood when power is still out?

  • The crews may need to pick up more supplies to continue restoration, conditions have become unsafe or repairs are still underway to other portions of the system, such as transmission lines or substations.



Q.) There is a lot of damage in the area, including downed lines in my neighborhood.  Am I able to move these or do I need to wait for trained personnel to assist?

  • Stay clear of areas where there is a lot of debris or downed trees because it could conceal an energized power line. Also stay clear of chain link fences which may be energized if touching a downed line.
  • Treat any downed wire as if it is energized because you can’t tell by looking if a downed wire is live or not. Telephone or cable television wires that are touching a power line could become energized and should also be avoided. Call 911 to report the location of any downed lines.
  • Standing water (puddles from flooding) may be energized from a downed line. Be careful not to touch or step in water near where a downed power line is located. If a downed line is near water — even a small puddle — keep well away.
    Don’t attempt to repair the electrical system or pull tree limbs off lines. Let our trained work crews perform this potentially dangerous work.