PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - Wednesday marks a full decade since Hurricane Charley tore through southwest Florida.
The storm brought down power lines and ripped wires from homes, causing people to lose power for weeks as they cleaned up their neighborhoods in the August heat.
"Very hot, very uncomfortable," Punta Gorda resident Terri Smith remembers. "No air conditioning, no lights."
Even Punta Gorda's Fire Chief, Ray Briggs, remembers how difficult those few weeks were following Charley.
"I remember my wife driving to Bradenton to get laundry detergent -- get laundry done," Briggs said.
While technology can't change the course of a hurricane, it can help a community recover from one much quicker.
During a special presentation Tuesday, Florida Power and Light showcased just how far its technology has come in the past ten years.
"A lot of the work we're doing today in 'storm hardening' -- strengthening our system, strengthening our poles -- is designed to make the system more resilient so that the time will be reduced," said Bryan Olnick, FPL's Vice President of Distribution Operations.
First, FPL is using a Smart Grid system to put fixing an outage at the finger tips of technicians, through use of an iPad app.
"(The app) allows them to look at a wealth of information that they've never had access to before, in order to help them troubleshoot, restore and communicate to the customers quickly on exactly what's going on," Olnick said.
FPL is also using new thermography devices to spot problems that can't be seen through the naked eye.
The utility has also deployed and updated fleet of mobile response vehicles, equipped with computer systems to take in all of the information and get help to people quicker.
"Our men and women right on the line have more information so they can do their job more efficiently," Olnick said.
Olnick said the new technology can help reduce a crew's response time by several days.