Weathering the Storm with Natural Gas
As the largest natural gas distribution utility in the state, we love living and working in Florida as much as you do. And we know a thing or two about hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. In fact, Peoples Gas works year-round to be sure we're ready for all types of severe weather. We're committed to the safety of our pipelines and our people, and we urge you to be prepared and learn more about being safe in the event of a major storm.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms and flooding are just some of the severe weather conditions that can affect Floridians during storm season, which runs June 1 through November 30.
While serious weather conditions like these cannot be prevented, preparation can go a long way toward keeping your family and your home safe.
Download our new hurricane brochure and be prepared.
Know the 3 Ps: Plan, Prepare and Practice
Plan: Make a plan that helps you prepare yourself and your family for any disaster. Families can make emergencies less stressful by preparing in advance and working together as a team. You can learn how to build your own family plan, as well as a business plan, at fema.gov.
Prepare: During hurricane season, keep essential provisions in an emergency kit, to include:
- Copy of photo ID
- First-aid kit
- Bottled water
- Battery-powered radio
- Spare cash
- Emergency contact
- Medications Information
- Canned goods and can opener
Practice: Have regular household meetings to review your emergency plans, communication plans and meeting place after a disaster, and then practice, just like you would a fire drill.
To help you and your family prepare for hurricane season, download and print these preparedness tips. Take time to share the information with members of your family so you will know what to do when our area experiences stormy weather. The better you plan, the better off you and your family will be when a storm hits.
During the Storm
Even if you're evacuating, there's no need for you to turn off your natural gas service at the meter. Your service will likely operate uninterrupted throughout the storm. If you'd like, you 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 your natural gas meter on helps to maintain proper pressure in the gas piping within your home or business 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.
Should you have questions or difficulty relighting pilot lights, call your plumber or a qualified appliance service contractor. Visit Appliance Sales and Service for more information about contractors and technicians in your area.
During and after severe storms, Peoples Gas crews are available to respond to natural gas emergencies. If you smell the odor of rotten eggs near your home or business, a gas line may be damaged or leaking. Immediately move to a safe location and call 877 TECO PGS (877-832-6747). We're ready to handle your emergency 24/7.
After the storm
Natural gas service is resilient and typically operates uninterrupted throughout severe weather. Damage to underground pipelines can be caused by floodwaters or if trees are uprooted by high winds. When conditions are safe, Peoples Gas team members repair or make safe any leaks and assess our natural gas system for damage. If the natural gas system in your area or at your home or business is impacted by severe weather, a Peoples Gas representative or first responder may turn off your service at your meter. Once repairs have been made and the pipelines have been tested, a Peoples Gas technician will return to your location to restore your service.
Watch this video to learn more about service restoration.
Call before you dig
After severe weather, your yard may sustain damage from fallen trees. Remember to call 8-1-1 to have underground utilities marked for free before you dig up tree roots. They're often growing near natural gas pipes or other buried utility lines. Calling two business days before digging gives utilities enough time to mark your yard with flags or paint, making it easier for you to dig safely.