Utility workers continue extra precautions during the pandemic
Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, and Peoples Gas works year-round to be ready. As Florida’s largest natural gas distribution company, the company is prepared to respond if a major storm should impact the state.
“The safety of our customers, our communities and our team is always our No. 1 priority,” said Helen Wesley, Chief Operating Officer of Peoples Gas. “We work hard to be ready for whatever weather comes our way so that we can continue to deliver essential natural gas service and solutions across Florida.”
Everyone at Peoples Gas takes preparing for severe weather seriously. As part of its preparedness plan, the company utilizes the Incident Command System (ICS) structure, and employees actively participate in annual drills and exercises. The team works with suppliers to ensure adequate emergency response supplies are available statewide. And the company makes investments in state-of-the-art technology such as the Gas Control Center, to monitor the safety and status of the natural gas system 24 hours a day, and the mobile command center, which can travel to impacted areas and be used as a temporary workspace during restoration activities.
This summer, while the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact Florida, Peoples Gas employees remain committed to practicing social distancing and wearing appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE), including masks and gloves, when interacting with customers or while in customers’ homes.
Peoples Gas encourages customers to be prepared
Peoples Gas urges all of its customers across Florida to have a personal storm plan in place for their home or business. Visit peoplesgas.com/stormcenter and follow Peoples Gas on social media for the latest tips, restoration information and additional guidance. Leave extra time to assemble storm kits and pay attention to any additional supplies needed for extra precautions during the pandemic.
Even if customers are asked to evacuate, there’s no need to turn off natural gas service at the meter. 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. Customers should contact a plumber or a qualified appliance service contractor if they have difficulty relighting pilot lights.
Dig with care around natural gas pipelines after a storm
While natural gas service is usually resilient during storms, the underground delivery system can be damaged when trees are uprooted. Peoples Gas reminds Floridians to call 811 two business days before digging up roots from fallen trees or repairing fences. Calling two business days before digging gives utilities enough time to mark the area – for free – with flags or paint, making it easier to dig safely and avoid service interruptions.
Smell gas? Act fast
The odor of rotten eggs is an indicator that a natural gas line might be damaged. Immediately move to safety and call 911, then call Peoples Gas at 877-832-6747. Emergency calls are answered 24/7/365.
Peoples Gas System, Florida’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serves about 425,000 customers across the state. Peoples Gas is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.