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Business Owners: Prepare for Fuel Shortages

Business Owners: Prepare for Fuel Shortages

You may need fuel for vehicles, generators, and other equipment to continue operating your business during an emergency. During a shortage, local authorities and fuel suppliers will prioritize getting fuel to key assets such as emergency operations centers, hospitals, food supply dealers, water supply plants, and telecommunication networks. Plan ahead to help make sure you have adequate supplies.

  • Review your fuel supply contracts—Arrange priority contacts with fuel suppliers, including an out-of-region supplier, and include language for providing fuel supplies during an emergency. Can your fuel suppliers operate with no power? Do they have gravity-fed systems? What if your fuel supplier can’t access your facility?
  • Identify other fuel-related businesses—It may be useful to identify and establish relationships with businesses and organizations responsible for the distribution, tracking, and regulation of fuels, as well as State petroleum and dealer associations, which can provide information about businesses that sell and distribute petroleum products. These businesses and organizations are likely to know where supplies can be found during an emergency.
  • Keep adequate supplies on hand—Take care in considering how much fuel you can safely store, and for how long. Gasoline and diesel fuel stored for long periods may need added chemicals to keep them safe for use. Check with your supplier for recommendations. Store all fuels in specifically designed containers in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place, away from all potential heat sources. Check aboveground storage tanks, pipes, and valves regularly for cracks and leaks, and replace damaged materials immediately.
  • Know the permitting process—Federal, State, and local regulations may require you to follow certain fuel storage practices and obtain a permit before installing new storage tanks. Make sure you follow these regulations when you install, operate, maintain, and shut down your storage tanks.
     

 

Disclaimer: Because every emergency is different, it is important for your safety that you follow the directives of your state and local emergency management authorities and local utilities. The information provided on DOE's website is intended for general informational purposes only and is not an endorsement of any particular material or service. Before engaging in any activities that could impact utility services such as electricity or natural gas, contact your local utility to ensure that the activities are done safely.

For additional emergency-planning resources, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website, ready.gov. State and local emergency management authorities and local utilities may also provide helpful guidance.