Jarvis Swain reminisces his first encounter with a storm and talks about his current role in FPL
Jarvis Swain is a member of the storm situation unit at Florida Power & Light Company. Born and raised in Georgia, he talks about his experience with a ravaged South Florida storm in 1992 and how it changed his life.
Continue reading this news to learn more about FPL’s unit and Swain’s role.
Hurricane Andrew of August 1992
Jarvis Swain, an electrical engineer, found himself amidst the ravaged Hurricane Andrew in the August of 1992. This catastrophic and historic category 5 storm changed his life forever.
“It was unprecedented and left a lasting impression,” said Swain, a principal engineer for FLP’s power distribution unit. With Andrew hitting South Florida, Swain knew enough to never underestimate the power of Mother Nature.
His past role involved patrolling main lines, where he’d drive along the lines to spot any damage that could cause a power outage. He would report the issues to the command center. Three decades later, Swain had the same role, but he patrolled the lines comfortably from his desk using smart switches system to detect outages.
He has served for 41 years at FPL, where he has firsthand experience of how hurricanes affect electric power grids.
Improving the utility of the electric power grid
Presently, Jarvis Swain supports the leaders of Florida Power & Light Company to improve the power grid so it can be more disaster-resilient. He offers comprehensive reports about outages so the company can focus its efforts accordingly.
In 2004, three hurricanes hit FPL’s service territory. Swain talked about the constant hustle with little to no rest from August to October. The following year another topical 3-week storm hit the state called Wilma.
However, Swain believes these storms pushed FPL to strengthen the grid’s safety and reliability. FPL has continued to improve its day-to-day operations since the historic hurricanes. It has installed 200,000 smart devices. The company also arranges weeklong drills where 3,500 employees participate to become prepared for any storm beforehand.
Jarvis Swain loves his job, which gives him a purpose. This 63-year-old won’t be stopped by storms and hurricanes. He believes FPL is more than just a company. That said, he believes that no system is hurricane-proof, and they must prepare for natural calamities in the future.
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