Utility encourages customers to be prepared and follow emergency guidelines in the event of an evacuation
Peoples Gas is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Idalia and is prepared to respond to any natural gas emergencies created by the storm or its aftermath. The company also encourages customers to plan ahead.
Idalia is expected to bring strong winds, heavy rain and potentially significant storm surge to Florida’s west coast. Peoples Gas’ first priority is the safety of customers and employees, and urges residents to follow local evacuation orders.
Getting ready for the storm
Natural gas service will likely operate uninterrupted throughout the storm. Customers should leave their natural gas service on, even in the event of an evacuation. 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.
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. Most natural gas appliances have safety valves that will shut off the flow of natural gas automatically if the pilot light goes out.
If at any time residents smell a rotten egg or sulfur-like odor, there could be damage to a natural gas line or a natural gas leak. Immediately move to safety and call 911, then call Peoples Gas at 877-832-6747. Emergency calls are answered 24/7/365. Please note that Peoples Gas employees will be dispatched when sustained wind speeds are below 40 mph.
Other helpful tips:
- Before evacuating, please first review the evacuation route information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management Web site (FloridaDisaster.org). Roads may be closed to facilitate better traffic flow.
- Make plans for pets as they are extremely vulnerable and are not allowed at most shelters.
- Have a functioning battery powered radio to monitor emergency information.
- Remember to use portable generators safely. Portable generators must not be taken into homes or any enclosed space (like a garage) where deadly carbon monoxide gases could build up. Plug appliances directly into the generator. DO NOT connect portable generators into a home’s circuits. Connecting a generator to the circuits may cause power to flow to outside lines, posing life-threatening danger to restoration crews.
After the storm
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 877-832-6747 to have service restored.
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.
After severe weather, it is common for property to sustain damage from fallen trees. Residents and business owners are reminded to call 811 to have underground utilities marked for free before digging up tree roots or making repairs. Calling 811 two business days before digging gives utilities enough time to mark the area with flags or paint, making it easier to dig safely.
Peoples Gas System Inc., Florida’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serves nearly 470,000 homes and businesses across the state. The company’s mission is to make life better for communities by delivering safe, resilient, efficient and affordable natural gas energy solutions. Through investments in people, technology, infrastructure and environmentally focused innovations, the company is committed to fueling Florida’s clean energy future responsibly and sustainably. Peoples Gas is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. To learn more about the benefits of natural gas for Florida, visit FloridasEnergy.com. Find more information about the company, its culture, career opportunities and community investments at PeoplesGas.com.