Prepare for Hurricane Season

Prepare for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is in full swing in the southeastern United States.

Running from June until November, hurricanes can cause widespread power outages. Do you have a plan in place for your diesel fuel and generators? Many times, there isn’t much warning with hurricanes. Sometimes there’s a warning window of only 12 hours, which can make emergency preparations and evacuations difficult at best. Most coastal areas of the United States can expect to be exposed to a hurricane once every 25 years. 80% of businesses that spend more than 30 days recovering from a hurricane go bankrupt. These businesses may have had a plan in place, but it wasn’t the right kind of planning, or details such as fuel supply were overlooked.

Emergency vehicles need to be moved, equipment and supplies need to be transferred to various destinations, and command centers need power. All of these procedures require uncontaminated fuel. In order to ensure that your facilities and equipment are ready to go at a moment’s notice, we recommend the following steps to prepare for hurricane season:

3 To 7 Days Before Landfall:

Ensure that fuel deliveries have been scheduled, and that fuel storage tanks are full. The closer a hurricane gets to landfall, the smaller the guarantee that you’ll be able to get fuel when you need it.

Test your fuel. Ensure that fuel is free of bacteria with microbial test strips. These take several days to work, so fuel should be tested as early as possible. If tests show that microbes are present, treat your fuel with biocide.

Top off fuel in essential vehicles and generators. Test and fuel all backup generators.

2 to 3 Days Before Landfall:

If you have fuel that tested positive for microbes, filter it now. Run refueled generators after you’ve filled them up. This ensures that they are functioning properly with the new fuel.

Top off any other fuel tanks and service all vehicles, pumps, portable and emergency generators, ventilators, compressors, etc.

Test all backup generators one last time. Fill up fuel tanks of all essential vehicles.

Secure a supply of extra fuel and store properly.

First 24 hours of Landfall:

During the first 24 hours of landfall, you’ll have enough to keep your hands full, so fuel shouldn’t be a concern at this point. When the storm has passed, ensure that groundwork has been laid for future preparations.

One of the main items to address during the calmer times is water in your fuel. Water provides a breeding ground for microbes, which turns into a sludge that clogs filters and fuel lines. It’s much easier to prevent microbial growth using a biocide than to attempt to oust an already-established colony…especially when it spreads to areas of your fuel system beyond the storage tank! The southeastern US is generally warm and humid during the summer months, which can cause more water to get into your fuel. In order to keep microbes at bay, biocides should be applied once every 2-3 months.

For further information about diesel fuel tank maintenance, please read this post. If you have questions about fuel cleaning or fuel preparation, contact us. Clean Fuels is here to help!