La. Fuel Team making ready for start of 2014 Hurricane Season
BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Fuel Team held its annual pre-hurricane season meeting today at the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) headquarters in preparation for the 2014 Hurricane Season, which begins June 1.
The Louisiana Fuel Team is comprised of representatives from the oil and gas distributors, marketers, transporters, refiners and multiple state agencies. The Fuel Team serves as a centralized coordinating group for managing the many aspects of the fuel supply chain to ensure the availability of fuel to the public during mass emergencies such as evacuations prior to hurricane landfall and post-hurricane return and recovery.
“The Fuel Team represents a cooperative effort between state government and industry that allows for constant communication on where fuel demand is most critical and how best to deal with challenges of supplying that fuel in times when road conditions, power availability and other factors can rapidly change the situation,” DNR Secretary Stephen Chustz said.
Fuel Team member 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 that this organized, coordinated effort through DNR and GOHSEP is in place and ready to address the fuel needs of the public in the event of an emergency or disaster.”
Chustz said that the Fuel Team’s work is an important part of preparing for and responding to potential hurricanes, but that the people of Louisiana should also do their part to prepare and protect themselves and their homes.
“The main thing we want citizens to do is to take early steps, when it’s known that a storm is entering the Gulf of Mexico, to fuel up their vehicles and obtain fuel for other equipment well in advance to avoid long lines and potential supply crunches that can be created when too many people take last minute actions,” Chustz said.
The forecast released last week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calls for a 10 percent chance of an above average season with 8 to 13 named storms, and possibly 3 to 6 of those predicted to become hurricanes.
DNR Office of Coastal Management Assistant Secretary Keith Lovell told the group that he stresses the importance of Louisiana residents being prepared before a storm hits because precise locations, timing and intensities of potential land-falling hurricanes are often uncertain, and people should have their supplies and evacuation plans ready.
Other members reporting updated plans were Natalie Isaacks, representing the Louisiana Oil Marketers and Convenient Store Association and Edgar Dugas of Dugas Oil. Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association’s Director of Environmental Affairs Richard Metcalf spoke about the state’s refinery protocols.
Gov. Jindal’s Get a Game Plan initiative encourages citizens to be guided by the preparedness instructions found at http://www.getagameplan.org/
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