How Natural Gas Customers Can Prepare For a Hurricane
FOLSOM – As the peak of hurricane season approaches, South Jersey Gas reminds its customers that preparation is the best way to stay safe when a storm arrives.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Sept. 10 is the day when extreme weather is most likely to occur. September is also the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Preparedness Month. South Jersey Gas offers the following tips to be prepared and stay safe during a weather event.
Before the storm:
• Check your yard for materials that could blow around in strong winds. Place all lawn furniture, hoses, garden ornaments, etc., inside your house or garage. These loose items, if blown around, could damage your natural gas meter.
• It is not necessary to turn off gas service. Your natural gas service should operate safely throughout the storm.
If you’re ever required to evacuate your home or business:
• Do not turn off your gas supply at the main meter. That valve should only be turned on or off by emergency utility personnel.
• If you choose to turn off a specific gas appliance, you may do so at the supply valve near each unit. (Locate the shut-off valve for each of your gas appliances and familiarize yourself with its operation before a storm occurs.)
During and after the storm:
• If you smell a strong odor of natural gas (odor of rotten eggs) or see a broken gas line inside the home or building, immediately evacuate to another location. Do not use any electrical switch, cell phone, match, door bell, motor vehicle or electrical equipment in the area where the strong odor exists. Any of these actions could ignite gas that may have accumulated.
• Next, call the South Jersey Gas Leak Hotline at 1-800-582-7060 as soon as possible and dial 911.
• If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances before requesting a service reconnection.
Before removing fallen trees, always call 811 to get the location of underground utility lines marked out. Gas, electric, telephone, water, sewer and cable lines may be entangled in the root system of the fallen trees. It’s the law in New Jersey, and the call and the utility location service are free.
• In other situations, if you turned off gas to an appliance and have any difficulty relighting the pilot light, call your plumber, qualified appliance service contractor or South Jersey Gas for assistance.
• In cases of outages due to damaged lines, our primary responsibility is to make the affected area safe. After the area has been made safe, service to affected customers will be restored as soon as possible.
• View Facebook and Twitter updates from South Jersey Gas in the event of natural gas emergencies or significant weather-related events.