Each year hurricane season starts June first and runs through November 30. In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts activity for the upcoming season, anticipating the possibility of major hurricanes. And it’s just not hurricanes – tornadoes, thunderstorms and flooding are among the severe weather conditions that Floridians must cope with at this time of year.
Preparing well ahead of time can go a long way toward keeping your family and home or business safe.
- Create an emergency plan and make sure everyone understands it
- Purchase non-perishable foods to have on hand
- Replenish your supply of candles, matches, flashlights and batteries
- Place loose items such as lawn furniture, hoses, garden ornaments, etc., inside your house or garage
A few precautions with natural gas appliances will help ensure your safety in the event of a storm.
It is not necessary to turn off your natural gas service. If you are required to evacuate your home or business, your underground gas service should operate uninterrupted throughout the storm.
If you are required to evacuate your home or business:
- Do not turn off your gas supply at the main meter. That valve should be turned on or off by emergency utility personnel only.
- It is recommended that you do not need to turn your gas off. However, if you choose to do so, you may turn off gas to individual appliances at the supply valve near each unit. Most city codes now call for a small supply turnoff valve for each gas appliance. Locate the turn off valve for each of your gas appliances and familiarize yourself with its operation before a storm occurs.
After the hurricane
- Immediately call your local utility if you smell natural gas (odor of rotten eggs) or see a broken gas line.
- If you have any questions or have any difficulty relighting the pilot lights on your appliances, call your plumber, or a qualified appliance service contractor, or your natural gas utility for a safety inspection.