Natural Gas Utilities Are Prepared for Hurricane Season
Hurricane season is in full swing and natural gas utilities are prepared for what may come by applying lessons learned from previous big storms. For an individual utility, preparations for a forecasted hurricane typically begin four to five days before the hurricane is predicted to land in their service territory. Before the storm, natural gas utilities will pre-position equipment and personnel based on the makeup of the pipeline system, the hurricane’s path and local topography.
AGA offers our members a Mutual Assistance Program which provides help from unaffected natural gas utilities to ensure natural gas service can be restored safely and quickly. Although available, the program is not always needed due to there not being any damage to natural gas flow during recent hurricanes.
In addition to the Mutual Assistance Program, four regional gas associations can assist our utility members: Northeast, Southern, Western and Midwestern. If a natural gas utility cannot respond with its own assets, a regional gas association will coordinate a response with other natural gas utilities from the area.
Although interruptions are possible, natural gas utilities have a proven track record of providing reliable service during hurricanes due to the fact that the natural gas pipeline network is predominantly underground and therefore remarkably resilient. Natural gas utilities’ preparations focus on customer and employee safety and being ready to restore service to individual homes and businesses when necessary.
Hurricanes can be unpredictable, but preparation is key to providing support when necessary and helping ensure that natural gas service continues uninterrupted. To learn more about AGA’s Hurricane Preparedness and the Mutual Assistance Program, click here.