Most of California has been experiencing the recent mixed blessing of the end of the drought and heavy storms. Along with the torrential rainstorms come flooding, landslides, power outages, and a variety of other problems, some which are life-threatening. “Here at Wildhorse Propane, we wish everyone be safe and warm during this time,” says Steven Dodson from Wildhorse Propane and Appliances. “For your information and to help keep you and your families safe, we have put together some propane safety tips.”
Just because the rain has stopped, don’t think the danger of flooding is over. Water continues to flow in strong currents in rivers and streams, eroding and breaching banks and dams and causing damage. Mudslides can still happen even days after the rain has stopped. As the water seeps deeper into the earth, tree roots give way, ground breaks away from underlying rock surfaces, and graded and eroded banks can still slide.
A propane tank can become dislodged during a flood or mudslide. It’s also possible for other objects being carried by flood waters or mud slides to strike the tank and damage or dislodge it. Water, mud and other debris can lodge inside regulators and controls. There’s also the danger of fallen power lines and trees.
After the storm
Being prepared before a storm is the first line of defense for most emergencies. But even the best preparedness can’t predict the nature of a storm. As soon as it is safe to do so, inspect your propane tank, the connections to buildings and appliances for any kind of damage. The Watsonville propane team recommends the following:
- If you smell the rotten egg odor, it means propane is leaking from somewhere.
- Evacuate the house and the area.
- Shut off all the main valve at the tank.
- Make sure there are no open flames, and don’t smoke!
- Go outside, away from the house and call 911 or your propane supplier.
- If the tank has come loose, has shifted, is missing, or if you find a neighbor’s propane tank was carried onto your property by flooding or a slide, call 911 or your propane supplier.
- If you suspect your propane tank was underwater, or partially covered by water, shut off the gas and call your propane supplier.
- Don’t turn on the gas supply or attempt to use any appliances until the entire system has been inspected.
A regular annual inspection of the propane tank, gas lines and appliances during the year is going to help keep everything in good working order.
Understanding propane safety procedures is important. Become familiar with the safety reminders provided by the Watsonville propane supplier.
- Before a storm, make a delivery appointment to have an adequate supply of propane on hand. Try to adjust your normal use to use less propane until after the storm. Deliveries afterward might be delayed because of road closures and emergencies.
- Make sure the propane tank is securely anchored.
- Know what propane smells like and teach your family the same.
- Know how to shut off the propane supply and which valves to shut off. At least one other family member should also know how to do this.
- Store propane cylinders safely according to the supplier’s instructions.
- Install Underwriter Laboratories (UL) certified carbon monoxide detectors in appropriate locations. Consider also installing UL listed propane gas detectors.
- Create an emergency preparedness plan. Plans can be found online, or from local emergency services agencies. Review the plan regularly with your family.
- Prepare food ahead of time to minimize using propane for cooking during the storm. Shop for food items that need minimal, or not preparation in case the power goes out.
- If you need to use a camp stove or propane grill for cooking, don’t use it in the house. Set up a safe area ahead of time for outdoor cooking. Don’t use either when there are gas leaks, even outdoors.
Be safe during the storm. Stay in touch with neighbors, family and friends. Have a safe place for your family and pets in the event you have to evacuate.
Wildhorse Propane has been meeting the propane needs of the Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Cruz counties since 1980. A family-owned business with deep roots in our hometown community, we carry the principles of fair prices, good service and timely delivery to our customers. Services include the convenience of regular delivery routes to keep your propane tanks full.
Are you out of propane before your regular delivery? Call us and we’ll take care of you.
Need your propane tank inspected? We will do that and make any necessary repairs or replacements.
Wildhorse Propane and Appliances is pleased to assist you with all of your propane needs. Call today.