La. Fuel Team and state agencies coordinating efforts for 2013 hurricane season

WVLA-TV
Saturday, June 1, 2013 - 3:00am

The Louisiana Fuel Team held its annual meeting today at the state Department of Natural Resources to continue its preparations and plans to be ready for the 2013 Hurricane Season which begins June 1.

DNR Secretary Stephen Chustz said that planning for an adequate public fuel supply during storms and natural disasters require several working partners, organizations, and multi-agencies.

“The Fuel Team efforts will help before, during and after the call for evacuation during a declared emergency. Citizens are encouraged to take early steps, when it’s known that a storm is entering the Gulf of Mexico, to fuel up their vehicles and other power equipment well in advance, particularly, to avoid long lines and potential supply crunches that can be created when too many people take last minute actions,” he said.

The forecast released last week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calls for an above average season with 13 to 20 named storms, and possibly 7 to 11 of those predicted to become hurricanes.

Precise locations, timing and intensities of potential land-falling hurricanes can be uncertain, so Louisiana residents should have their “game plan” ready, secure fuel ahead of time, and make sure that generators and vehicles are running properly in the event of power outages during the storms.

The Louisiana Fuel Team, established under Gov. Jindal’s administration, is comprised of representatives from the oil and gas refiners, distributors, marketers, transporters, and multiple state agencies, have worked in concert to address the need to safely provide and maintain adequate public fuel supplies for gas stations across Louisiana to operate in emergency situations and to inform the public on the status of stations and fuel availability. This cooperative partnership between industry representatives and state agencies will help ensure that an adequate fuel supply is maintained during times of emergency.

“As we work with government officials at all levels, it is a priority during hurricane season to see that critical fuel supplies are attainable for the public and that our employees have safe working conditions,” said LMOGA President Chris John.

Cathy Gautreaux, executive director of Louisiana Motor Transport Association said, “In the past, we depended upon personal contacts and professional relationships to manage our individual efforts in response to hurricanes. I am thankful we now have an organized, coordinated statewide effort through the Department of Natural Resources to address the extraordinary fuel needs of the public in the event of an emergency or disaster.”

Natalie Isaacs, representing the Louisiana Oil Marketers and Convenient Store Association, said, “On the retail side, we will do our part to assist the state in minimizing disruptions to the public fuel supply. Retailers able to provide services will do everything possible to help during any crisis we might be facing.”

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