UNION, NJ – Although its path is uncertain, Elizabethtown Gas is engaged in implementing its comprehensive emergency response plan to ensure safety and reliability of natural gas service during the effects of Hurricane Joaquin.
Elizabethtown Gas also is advising customers to take the necessary precautions now to protect themselves and their families. Meteorologists are predicting that Hurricane Joaquin could intensify, bringing with it substantial rain, damaging winds and the potential for flooding.
Elizabethtown Gas is providing the following guidelines associated with natural gas safety before, during and immediately following a severe weather emergency:
Detecting Gas Leaks
· If customers smell the rotten egg odor that is often associated with natural gas, they should immediately leave the affected area and call 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.
· 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 and call 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 to determine whether their service line meets load requirements for the generator’s safe and efficient operation.
For more information on how to stay safe during severe weather, visit www.elizabethtowngas.com/BePrepared.