UNION, NJ – While forecasters warn that the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season could be more active than previous years, with as many as 14 named storms, Elizabethtown Gas is emphasizing the importance of having a plan and making the necessary preparations for severe weather.
The potential for significant weather, such as hurricanes, tropical storms or tropical depressions, peaks during the months spanning from June through November. These weather events also can lead to damaging winds and flooding, particularly in coastal and low-lying areas.
With the safety of the public, its employees and its pipelines at the forefront, Elizabethtown Gas is providing the following guidelines associated with natural gas safety during weather emergencies:
Detecting Gas Leaks
· If customers smell the rotten egg odor that is often associated with natural gas, they should immediately leave the affected area; call 9-1-1 then the 24-hour emergency response line at 1-800-492-4009 from a safe location.
· Residents should never try to identify the source of a leak themselves.
· If the odor of gas is present, do not use a telephone or cellular phone, turn light switches on or off, operate any appliance or do anything that might cause a spark, such as lighting a match.
· Strong winds and saturated grounds could cause trees to become uprooted. Before removing downed trees, customers should dial New Jersey One Call by calling 8-1-1 or 1-800-272-1000 to have the location of underground utility lines marked, because downed trees could become tangled with the natural gas lines.
· If a natural gas meter is damaged or gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area; call 9-1-1 then the 24-hour emergency response line at 1-800-492-4009 from a safe location.
· Customers are encouraged to know how to locate their natural gas meter.
· Following a weather emergency, ensure the gas meter is visible, and the area surrounding the meter is free of trash and debris. Mechanical equipment used after the storm to clean up a location may damage the meter if it is hidden.
· If a natural gas meter is damaged or gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area; call 9-1-1 then the Elizabethtown Gas 24-hour emergency response number at 1-800-492-4009.
· Customers are advised to leave their natural gas service on during a hurricane or severe storm. Most gas appliances have safety valves that shut off the flow of gas automatically if the pilot light goes out.
· If flooding occurs at a residence or business and the gas appliances are under water, customers are advised not to operate their appliances until a safety inspection is conducted.
Natural Gas Generators
· During a power outage, natural gas generators provide continuous fuel supply from an existing natural gas line. While these units are available in a range of sizes to meet various energy needs, customers are encouraged to contact Elizabethtown Gas prior to installation to determine whether their service line and meter meets load requirements for the generator’s safe and efficient operation.