Utility encourages customers to follow emergency guidelines in the event of an evacuation
Peoples Gas officials remain vigilant in preparing for the potential effects of Hurricane Dorian on the east coast – and across Florida.
“We strongly urge customers to follow all emergency guidelines in the face of this devastating storm,” said T.J. Szelistowski, president of TECO Peoples Gas. “We stand ready to handle any gas-related emergencies as a result of Hurricane Dorian.”
The forecasted track of the storm continues to be unpredictable. If needed, Peoples Gas employees from other parts of Florida can help restore gas service after the storm.
The company’s first priority is the safety of our customers and employees, so please follow local evacuation orders. Peoples Gas advises customers to leave their natural gas service on, even in the event of an evacuation. Natural gas service will likely operate uninterrupted throughout the storm. Customers may choose to turn off gas to individual appliances at the supply valve near each unit. The valve at the main meter should be turned on or off only by qualified Peoples Gas representatives or emergency personnel.
Leaving natural gas meters on helps to maintain proper pressure in the gas piping within homes or businesses and can prevent water from entering the lines should flooding occur. Most natural gas appliances have safety valves that will shut off the flow of natural gas automatically if the pilot light goes out.
For safety reasons, Peoples Gas representatives or emergency personnel may need to turn off some customers’ service at the meter. If customers find their gas service has been shut off, they will need to call the Peoples Gas Customer Care Center at 877-TECO-PGS (877-832-6747) to have service restored.
If at any time residents smell a rotten egg or sulfur-like odor, there could be a natural gas leak. Residents should leave the premises immediately and then call the Peoples Gas 24-hour Emergency Gas Leak number: 1-877-832-6747, say “emergency” or select option 1. Please note that Peoples Gas employees will be dispatched when sustained wind speeds are below 40 mph.
Customers who suspect their natural gas appliances have been flooded or damaged due to the storm should have the equipment inspected and serviced by a qualified plumber or appliance-service contractor.
Other helpful hints in the event of an evacuation:
- Before evacuating, please first review the evacuation route information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management Web site (www.FloridaDisaster.org). Roads may be closed to facilitate better traffic flow.
- Have a functioning battery powered radio to monitor emergency information.
- Make plans for pets as they are extremely vulnerable and are not allowed at most shelters.
- For more information, visit peoplesgas.com/stormsafety.
Peoples Gas System, Florida’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serves about 390,000 customers across Florida. Peoples Gas is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.