Industry Preparedness Supports Safe and Stable Response to Severe Weather Events
Posted August 31, 2021
The U.S. natural gas and oil industry is working to protect coastal communities and workers as first responders assess Hurricane Ida’s impact along the Gulf Coast. Right now, our members are actively assessing their facilities and infrastructure while monitoring flooding conditions on the ground.
The Department of Energy noted Monday morning that “refinery and offshore platform shut-ins are not anticipated to cause any immediate supply issues.” Operators will continue coordinating with government authorities to mitigate risk and address any potential fuel disruptions while working to supply the energy that is critical to emergency response.
Fuel refineries and pipeline infrastructure are vital to emergency response and market stability. Whether it is this storm or future storms, U.S. energy operators are prepared to mitigate risk and minimize disruption.
Safety: The safety of industry workers and neighboring communities is paramount for the natural gas and oil sector, and energy companies stand ready to help before and after an extreme weather event. API’s Industry Preparedness Handbook outlines standard procedures and best practices for the private sector and government regulators during an energy supply chain disruption – weather-related or otherwise.
Supply: As severe weather systems develop, our industry is focused on ensuring U.S fuel markets remain well-supplied for first responders and everyday consumers across America. While the size and scope of hurricanes and other storms can be unpredictable, our nation’s energy infrastructure is robust, resilient and adaptable – and the industry is well-positioned to meet this hurricane season’s challenges.
Stability: Everyone can help reduce potential risks for their families and communities. Regarding energy use, Americans should conserve fuels and maintain regular buying habits to alleviate surges in demand. Some additional guidance for Americans in hurricane-prone regions for the remainder of summer and fall:
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – Hurricanes and other storms can impact any U.S. coastal area and any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. It is important to know local risks and look for preliminary warning signs. Households should have an emergency preparedness plan, which may involve gathering key supplies and anticipating power outages.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Assemble a basic disaster supply kit and check your emergency equipment, including flashlights, generators and storm shutters. Familiarize yourself with forward-thinking actions to take before, during and after a hurricane.
- Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – Many Americans use portable generators when hurricanes disrupt their electricity, but consumers must be vigilant about the risk of carbon monoxide exposure. CPSC has guidelines for safely using generators and other household appliances amid severe weather.
America’s natural gas and oil industry has proven strategies for responding to all hazards, including hurricanes and other difficult weather events. Together, we can continuously improve our readiness and protect the health and safety of coastal communities.
About The Author
Suzanne Lemieux is API’s manager for Operations Security & Emergency Response Policy. She is primarily responsible for cyber and physical security policy, emergency preparedness and response, UAS policy, oil spill preparedness and response and public and private stakeholder engagement. Previously, she served as manager of API’s Midstream and Industry Affairs group. Before joining API, Lemieux worked for BCS Incorporated, the U.S. Energy Department’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and MCI Worldcom. She is a graduate of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative Executive Education Program at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She has a master’s degree in Public and International Affairs from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a bachelor’s of Business Administration in Marketing Management from Radford University.