Hurricane Preparation for Gas Stations: A Day-by-Day Guide Leading Up to Landfall
With storm season in full swing, it’s essential that gas stations in impacted areas remain vigilant and well-prepared. We wrote this guide to hurricane preparation for gas stations (based off this checklist) to keep you on track leading up to landfall.
Outside of each day’s recommended activities, keep your radio tuned to local weather reports for real-time updates, regularly inspect for potential safety hazards, and check your fuel supply daily. Give us a call right away if you’re in need of more fuel reserves or even an on-site tank rental.
Keep in mind that if your store is located in an Evacuation Zone, you may be required to leave the vicinity by a certain time, meaning you’ll need to adjust these guidelines accordingly. If you’re ordered to immediately shut down and evacuate, follow the directions from your local authorities.
5 Days Before Landfall
Start small and establish the basics. Make sure you know where your store’s Hurricane Preparedness Guide is, and require your team to read and review it, as well as update their emergency contacts.
Begin the process of meeting with your employees to discuss their availability, procedures, and delegation of responsibilities. In the event that you need to handle a rush of business or totally close down, have a plan in place to accommodate this and communicate it with your team.
Make deposits, or plan ahead to secure cash, and if you can, place an order for additional batteries, flashlights, bread, water, ice, cigarettes, fuel, etc.
4 Days Before Landfall
From here on out, it’s a good practice to have your team do daily dry-runs of the procedures outlined in your Hurricane Preparedness Guide.
Maintain daily communication with your team, keeping them in the loop on any new work schedules meant to accommodate rushes or evacuations. Review the store’s and employees’ emergency contact information, reminding anyone who hasn’t to update theirs.
Verify that your cash will be secure, or make deposits, and if you didn’t get to it the day before, place that order for additional supplies.
3 Days Before Landfall
Consider any additional preparations that may help in the event of a business rush. For example, you may want to have extra security or traffic control to move customers in and out quickly and safely.
Keep a close eye on your supply stock and place a last-minute order if necessary. Pay special attention to the items that will be in particularly high demand during these times. If applicable, secure your windows with hurricane shutters or plywood.
Check on your employees. Take the time to review their personal preparation to ensure their safety and readiness.
Don’t forget — if you haven’t been checking your fuel supply, do so NOW. If you’re low or anticipate getting to that point, call us immediately for emergency fuel delivery. You can reach us directly at:
2 Days Before Landfall
With only two days to go until the storm’s expected arrival, it’s time to notify any additional security/traffic control associates that they’re on 24-hour call. Remind your employees to fuel their cars and purchase any other supplies they’ll need themselves.
Locate and familiarize yourself with proper procedures for turning off main water services and closing natural gas and/or propane valves.
Take some time to go over the precautions you’ve been taking the last few days — ensuring your store is free from obstacles and safety hazards, checking your employees’ preparedness and communicating schedules, and securing windows with appropriate materials.
1 Day Before Landfall
Today’s a busy day, and it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your preparation.
Distribute the updated emergency contact list to all employees. Reconfirm schedules, responsibilities, and procedures to ensure everyone’s on the same page. By this point, employees should be personally prepared, but double-check with them that they’ve communicated their plans to their families.
Remove gas price numbers from the street sign, and begin moving all non-essential items from the gas island and store exterior (e.g., banners, pump toppers, signs and displays, etc.). Any items that can’t be removed from pumps should be shrink-wrapped along with the pump itself, and store movable outdoor items in a secure environment.
Take a final lap over all the preparations you’ve made the last five days, and get ready to weather the storm. For the complete hurricane preparation checklist for gas stations, click here to download the day-by-day guide.