Safety & Weather: Hurricanes
Weather Services International predicts 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes (category 3 or greater) for the 2011 hurricane season. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration expect another active season with between 12 and 18 named storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes and 3 to 6 major hurricanes. With these reliable sources predicting an active hurricane season for 2011, we feel it is important to post some general propane safety tips.
Before: Preparing for a Hurricane
- Have an adequate supply of propane in your tank
- Know how and where to shut off the outdoor propane supply & indoor propane appliances
- In flood zone areas, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) requires that requires large above-ground & underground propane tanks be anchored securely
- Know what propane smells like. It has a strong, unpleasant smell like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray or a dead animal
- NEVER store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed or tent
During: What to do When a Hurricane Approaches
If a hurricane threatens your safety, you may have to decide whether or not it is necessary to evacuate your home or farm. Listen to your local authorities, television or radio stations for instructions on the appropriate course of action to take. Whether it is determined that you should stay or leave, you should shut off your gas.
- Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise)
- Turn off the gas supply vales located near individual indoor appliances. Call your local AmeriGas office to make sure you know where the actual vales are located and how to shut them off.
After: What to Do After a Hurricane
Use caution when returning to your home or farm. If you have any doubts about your safety, leave the area immediately and have your property inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before re-entering.
Take the time to carefully evaluate the condition of all the structures on your property. If dark, use flashlights, not candles.
If you find a propane tank on your property that is not yours, or if yours has become dislodged or is missing, call your local AmeriGas office or your local fire company immediately.