2015 Hurricane season preps at Mobile GasPosted September 22, 2015
For five months out of the year, Mobile Gas Service Corporation prepares for the worst and hopes for the best. Hurricane season is a waiting game. Between June first until the last day of November, the natural utility company in southwest Alabama prepares its supplies, its crew, its emergency plans and keeps an eye on the Gulf of Mexico.
“You never know when a storm is about to strike,” said Chris Wiley, safety and technical training manager for Mobile Gas. “Forecasters will predict it to go one way, then in just a couple of hours the storm is projected to head straight for your area. Safety is our number one priority; even if there’s a small chance that we will be affected, we take measures to protect life and property while continuing to provide reliable natural gas service to our customers.”
Mobile Gas has Hurricane Response Plans which details what actions the companies will take if a hurricane is projected to affect its service territories. The plans also include roles and responsibilities for each department before, during and after the storm.
An annual tabletop exercise, which mocks a hurricane scenario, also allows key personnel to have emergency information up-to-date and related equipment and supplies are available. The utility has not experienced a major hurricane in several years, but employees know that the extensive pre-planning is necessary given the major damage that Hurricane Katrina caused in 2005.
One of the benefits that the natural gas industry has available is a “Mutual Aid” program in which natural gas companies will help other natural gas companies that are in need after a natural disaster event such as a hurricane. With just two and-a-half months left in the 2015 hurricane season, Mobile Gas and is ready to go to lend a hand to its fellow utility partners to help restore natural gas service, if needed.
“It is absolutely critical to be prepared and have a good plan in place that will provide the safety measures necessary to protect people and property but to also be able to assist others,” said Wiley. “Hurricanes are a part of life along the Gulf Coast. For the majority of the time, you don’t have to worry about them but when you do, just remember that safety should be everyone’s top priority and being prepared is everyone’s best defense.”
Mobile Gas offers natural gas safety information to their customers and the public so they will know what precautions to take when it comes to preparing for a hurricane or major storm.