As we approach the first anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Sandy, it’s easy to reflect on the importance of preparing before the storm hits. There are important preparations you can take to ensure your propane tank is protected from flash floods, high winds, falling limbs, and other elements.

(1) Make sure your propane tank is full and secure

Having an adequate supply of propane in your tank will ensure your family is prepared in an emergency situation. Make sure you have enough propane to last a few days.

If you have an above ground propane tank, a full tank will also help keep your propane tank secure. You should take extra precaution to make sure your propane tank is secured by checking fittings prior to the storm.

(2) Turn off the gas if a storm threatens your safety

Before the storm, make sure you know where and how to turn off your gas in the event of an emergency. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane gas tank, if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).

(3) Know the signs of a propane leak

Know the signs and what to do in the event of a propane leak in your home. Taking quick action will help prevent any damage to your home or propane tank.

Tips on detecting a propane leak and acting:

  1. Identify the smell: Propane has the distinctive smell of rotten eggs or rotten eggs. Propane manufacturers add this familiar odor as a safety precaution to alert customers.
  2. Extinguish flames or sparks: Put out all smoking materials and open flames. Flames can trigger an explosion or fire.
  3. Leave the area immediately: Evacuate all people and pets from the area you suspect propane gas is leaking
  4. Shut off the gas: Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane gas tank.
  5. Report the leak: From a neighbor’s home or nearby building, call your propane retailer or 911 immediately.Do not return to the building or area until a certified technician determines it is safe to do so.
  6. Get your system checked before reuse: Have a qualified technician check your entire system to ensure it is leak-free before re-use.

What to do after the storm

If your home was affected by the storm, take extra precaution returning to your home or assessing the damage. Follow the steps listed above in the event of a propane leak. Survey the area for any fallen limbs or power lines that could pose a major hazard. Call a utility company or your propane supplier if these conditions exist.

View this module to learn more and test your knowledge on what to do in the event of a hurricane.