New 'Mobile Command Center' To Help Restore Power Faster During Disasters

Jun 4, 2015

At Florida Power & Light Company in St. Augustine, the new MVP is a truck. From the outside it looks like a small RV. There’s a big pop-out monitor and a satellite dish. It would be perfect for tailgating at a football game, but FPL uses it to restore power, fast.

Ralph Grant was one of eight people who developed this truck. He calls it the mobile command center.

“It is as state of the art as we have in the utility business,” Grant said.

Inside, monitors and white boards line the walls. A large screen in the back shows a map of the FPL service area. It’s a touch screen, and when Grant zooms in on a street, it shows who has power and who doesn’t.

“[It] just gives us quick information that allows us to send resources to the right place in a timely manner,” Grant said.

He says FPL plans to use the truck for disasters during hurricanes, because it will have the ability to communicate under any weather conditions.

And the company has one more new tool to respond in a disaster: a drone will eventually take flight to help survey flooded areas.