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KISSIMMEE, Fla., September 2, 5:00 p.m. – Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility, is prepared for Hurricane Frances’ anticipated arrival on Saturday.

The utility today elevated to a higher readiness level in order to brace itself for the storm’s anticipated heavy rains and tropical force or hurricane-force winds. Disaster-causing conditions are expected to strike KUA’s service territory within 24-36 hours.

Here are frequently asked questions surrounding hurricanes and power outages:

Q: What should I do to report a power outage?

A: Call 407-933-7777. Be prepared to give the following information: account number, telephone number, nature of problem (power outage, partial power, dim or flickering lights, etc.) Remember, always treat a downed power line as if it were “live.”

Q: Is it true KUA automatically turns the power off during a hurricane?

A: No, KUA will not automatically turn the power off unless specifically directed to by Osceola County Emergency Management.

Q: Is there a priority system for restoring power during major outages?

A: During major outages, it is necessary to set priorities for restoring power. Our first priority is to restore power to health care facilities, emergency shelters and public safety offices. Be assured that KUA will make every effort to restore your power as quickly and safely as possible.

Q. Do you have an estimate on how long power outages will last?

A. Because of the size and intensity of this storm, residents should plan and prepare for long, extended electrical service outages. Please follow all local emergency management recommendations.

Q: What is the loud noise that occasionally occurs before a power outage?

A. KUA and other electric utilities use fuses on our systems to protect our equipment and lines. The loud noise is a fuse blowing to prevent damage to the system.

Q. Will KUA crews work through the hurricane?

A. Once winds reach 35 mph, or flooding becomes significant, KUA will not put its workers in harms way to restore service. KUA is prepared, however, to put its restoration plan to work immediately after the storm passes by first assessing damage to the power grid and then deploying its workforce to rebuild and repair.

Q: Should I attempt to connect my portable electric generator to the electrical system within my home or on KUA’s system?

A: No. Such an attempt could prove deadly. Portable generators are intended to only be connected directly to appliances or other equipment. Attempting to plug in to the system could cause the system to back feed, start an electrical fire or could result in shock or electrocution.

Q: If a storm damages electrical wires inside my home, is KUA responsible for repairs?

A: Typically, no. KUA is responsible for providing power to your meter and service entrance or “weather head.” Beyond that, the customer is responsible for repairs. Contact a qualified electrician.

KUA will post daily updates related to power outages and restoration at www.kua.com. Customers can also check local media outlets for information.