The fictitious Hurricane Echo hits South Florida as a powerful category 3 storm.

But, it's not real. 

It's part of the annual mock storm drill staged by Florida Power and Light (FPL).

FPL spokesman Bryan Garner says there is a major change this year: the company is partnering with the Florida National Guard.

Garner says its the first public-private partnership of its kind in the country.

Soldiers will be embedding themselves with FPL emergency crews to observe how they respond following a disaster.

Following an actual disaster, the Guard will help with logistics and power restoration efforts.

Friday's drill involves more than 130 employees simulating a system-wide response to virtual Hurricane Echo.

FPL's annual, week-long hurricane preparedness drill culminates with this exercise which is a key component of the company's year-round storm preparations.

The exercise takes place across FPL's 35-county service are and serves as the company's final tune-up before the official start of hurricane season June 1st.



(Photo: Carlo Allegri / 2005 Getty Images)