Living the Northeast, we are subject to a variety of emergency weather situations and natural disasters that we must prepare for such as:
- Severe Storms & Hurricanes
- Other Storm Concerns
By taking some simple propane-related safety precautions to prepare propane tanks for emergency situations, and discussing them with your family, you can reduce the potential for property loss, personal injury and even death.
There are several things you can do if you anticipate severe weather:
- Have your propane tank filled when rainy weather is on the way. The tank will not float if the water level is below the propane level.
- Know how and where to shut off propane supply and appliances. For more information, contact your propane supplier.
- Never store or place cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as basement, garage or shed.
Propane and Wildfires
Wildfires and out of control grass fires make the news almost daily. Fueled by dry weather, drought and other factors, these fires can spread quickly and threaten homes and businesses. Rural areas, with continuous acres of natural vegetation, are highly susceptible to wildfires.
Be aware of droughts, fire weather watches and warnings such as burn bans. Keeping the area around your tank free of debris and anything flammable goes a long way.
A good rule of thumb is to keep a clear 10′ radius around tanks. Additional steps can be followed:
- Cut grass / weeds around the tank exposing bare ground
- Use weed/grass killer around tank after cutting vegetation
- Spread base material or gravel around to prevent growth
Floods & High Waters
Severe flooding can result in damage to your propane equipment. A large tank can become dislodged from its service lines and float away.
Also, water and debris can find their way inside the regulators and controls, which cause potential safety issues. Securing the tank can help prevent a bad situation from becoming worse:
- Ensure the tank is not in a location prone to flooding and high water such as dry creek beds
- Secure the tank with anchoring cables on a solid foundation, if needed
- In the event of flooding, turn off the gas tank’s valve before leaving the home.
If you believe severe weather is approaching pay attention to weather forecasts. Turn off the gas tank’s valves before leaving the home. And always listen to emergency response personnel and follow evacuation orders exactly as given.
Severe Storms & Hurricanes
Severe storms and hurricanes can cause the most damage. Thankfully they can also be tracked by the weather services and planned for in advance.
No matter the amount of preparation, these storms can take unpredictable turns quickly. Propane tanks are at the mercy of these storms. While there are some precautions, they should be planned and executed well in advance of hurricane season.
Make sure you secure your tank before the storm months!
With severe storms & hurricanes, the high force of winds can pick above ground tanks off their blocks. For this reason, underground tanks have the advantage of being able to sustain the forceful winds and will remain if the structure is destroyed.
It is NOT recommended to attempt to secure your tank when an emergency storm situation is approaching. Good judgment and concern for life is far more important than securing the tank and propane related issues.
Other Storm Concerns
Other storm related concerns can arise; such as hail, debris, falling limbs and trees. These may not affect the exterior or shell but could possibly damage the fittings or valves under the tank dome. Be sure to have a tank dome and properly secure it closed to prevent damage to the fittings.
Like in any weather emergency, using common sense, good judgment and heeding the advice of local authorities supersedes any information found here!
If you suspect any of your propane appliances, equipment, or vehicles have been under water or they have been damaged, or you turned off your gas supply; contact us to schedule a time for a trained service technician to perform a complete inspection of your propane system.
Review Combined Energy Services’ Safety page to further educate yourself on what to do in case of emergency weather situations.
If you have questions or safety concerns, ALWAYS contact your propane company!