10-Step Disaster Preparedness Process Guarantees Fuel Availability

LAST YEAR, companies were devastated when hurricanes interrupted fuel deliveries in many parts of the United States — particularly in the Southeast. For weeks, many areas limped by without sufficient fuel reserves.

“Companies need to take action now,” says Doug Haugh, executive vice-president with Mansfield Oil. “The fuel infrastructure they're used to relying on doesn't deliver in times of disaster. Whether you believe the climate is warming or cooling, it's clear that we're in a transition pattern in terms of weather volatility. When the hurricane, earthquake, or electrical storm hits, you need to already know where your fuel reserves are and how you can get to them.”

Mansfield Oil has a 10-step fuel emergency preparedness process that helps companies audit their fuel availability needs not only for transportation, but also for generators and other emergency backup systems:

  1. 1. Develop an emergency fueling program in coordination with your fuel supplier that includes fuel demand forecasting, commitments for stand-by fuel supply and pre-planning with state and local emergency agencies.

  2. 2. Coordinate with emergency fuel provider to monitor progress of the storm and ascertain anticipated landfall areas.

  3. 3. Establish a communications plan to contact the appropriate personnel at each site in the impacted area to ascertain fueling needs.

  4. 4. Evaluate inventory levels at sites in the projected storm path and order full or partial loads to ensure storage tanks are topped off.

  5. 5. Begin fueling at retail sites in affected areas so that bulk storage tanks are full after the storm has passed.

  6. 6. Top off all vehicles at site locations before parking them for the storm. This will benefit sites by having all vehicles fueled and storage tanks at maximum capacity, allowing for extra time before needing to be refueled.

  7. 7. All sites in hurricane areas should purchase water-tight seal caps for storage tanks to reduce chance of water entering tanks.

  8. 8. Sites in the anticipated affected region should discuss emergency operational procedures.

  9. 9. Establish a priority list of sites for receiving fuel deliveries after a hurricane makes landfall.

  10. 10. Review and distribute all internal emergency contact information. This list should include local and corporate contact information, details of emergency fuel provider and — where possible — individual cell phone numbers of local operations personnel for use when land lines are unavailable.

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