Ferrellgas Issues Hurricane Safety Tips Ahead of Irene

Four US states have declared states of emergency ahead of Hurricane Irene, which is expected to slam in the Mid-Atlantic Seaboard from tomorrow. (image: guardian.co.uk)

As Hurricane Irene bears down on large swathes of the US, one of the country’s biggest propane providers has issued some important propane safety tips.

States of emergencies have been issued in four states in order to activate National Guard troops and speed the flow of emergency federal resources ahead of expected wild winds, heavy rain, coastal flooding and widespread power outages.

Hurricane alarms went up along the Mid-Atlantic Seaboard on Thursday as Irene, a dangerous Category 3 storm, closed in on its shores, marketwatch.com reported.

The imminent storm sent oil prices higher amid fears refineries in the dangerous weather’s path could be disrupted. The storm is expected to slam into North Carolina sometime tomorrow. The governors of North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey and New York have all declared states of emergencies.

Forecasters predict Irene will be a Category 3 storm with winds of at least 111mph when it makes land, but it could potentially reach Category 4 status, with winds topping 131mph. Hurricane Katrina was a Category 3 storm when it hit New Orleans on Aug. 28, 2005.

As residents and emergency services brace for the fierce weather, national propane retailer and distributor Ferrellgas issued a statement warning people who may be affected by the storm to prepare their indoor and outdoor propane systems for possible damage.

The propane company issued the following safety tips:

* If you have to evacuate your home due to a tropical storm, hurricane or flood, turn off the service valve on your propane container and the shut-off valve on all propane appliances.

* Secure propane equipment, tanks, and cylinders during severe weather by tying them to stationary objects, or, if time allows contact your local propane service center to ask them to move your tank to higher ground.

* If your propane tank becomes dislodged or you believe there is a gas leak in your home, evacuate your house as soon as possible and contact your local fire department from a safe location.

* Use extreme caution when returning to your home after a tropical storm or hurricane, and contact your local propane service center to schedule a safety inspection.

For additional propane safety information, or for the contact information of your local Ferrellgas office, visit www.ferrellgas.com.