Virginia Natural Gas urges customers to prepare now for Tropical Storm Hermine
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Sept. 2, 2016 – Virginia Natural Gas is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Hermine, and has taken all necessary precautions to help maintain safe and reliable natural gas service to customers. Virginia Natural Gas personnel are strategically positioned throughout the service area, and are prepared to respond quickly to emergencies as they arise.
Virginia Natural Gas also is emphasizing the importance of having a plan and making the necessary preparations for severe weather. Due to the potential of flooding, particularly in coastal and low-lying areas, Virginia Natural Gas reminds customers of steps to take to ensure their safety around natural gas appliances.
The following are guidelines associated with natural gas safety during weather emergencies:
Detecting Gas Leaks
- If customers smell the rotten egg odor that is often associated with natural gas, they should immediately leave the affected area; call 9-1-1 then the 24-hour emergency response line at 877.572.3342 from a safe location.
- Residents should never try to identify the source of a leak themselves.
- If the odor of gas is present, do not use a telephone or cellular phone, turn light switches on or off, operate any appliance or do anything that might cause a spark, such as lighting a match.
- Strong winds and saturated grounds could cause trees to become uprooted. Before removing downed trees, customers should dial the Virginia Utility Protection Service by calling 8-1-1 or 800.552.7001 to have the location of underground utility lines marked, because downed trees could become tangled with the natural gas lines.
- If a natural gas meter is damaged or gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area; call 9-1-1 then the 24-hour emergency response line at 877.572.3342 from a safe location.
- Customers are encouraged to know how to locate their natural gas meter.
- Following a weather emergency, ensure the gas meter is visible, and the area surrounding the meter is free of trash and debris. Mechanical equipment used after the storm to clean up a location may damage the meter if it is hidden.
- If a natural gas meter is damaged or gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area; call 9-1-1 then the Virginia Natural Gas 24-hour emergency response number at 877.572.3342.
- Customers are advised to leave their natural gas service on during a hurricane or severe storm. Most gas appliances have safety valves that shut off the flow of gas automatically if the pilot light goes out.
- If flooding occurs at a residence or business and the gas appliances are under water, customers are advised not to operate their appliances until a safety inspection is conducted.
Natural Gas Generators
During a power outage, natural gas generators provide continuous fuel supply from an existing natural gas line. While these units are available in a range of sizes to meet various energy needs, customers are encouraged to contact Virginia Natural Gas prior to installation to determine whether their service line and meter meets load requirements for the generator’s safe and efficient operation.
For more information, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com/safety and connect with the company on Facebook (facebook.com/VirginiaNaturalGasCo) and Twitter (Twitter.com/VaNaturalGas).
About Virginia Natural Gas
Virginia Natural Gas is one of seven natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Virginia Natural Gas provides natural gas service to 290,000 customers in southeast Virginia. For more information, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com.
About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.5 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in seven states and more than 1 million retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at www.southerncompanygas.com.