How to Protect Your Gas Station from a Natural Disaster

Gas Station

While all businesses must prepare for a natural disaster, a gas station has a unique set of problems.  Gas stations offer critical resources that are needed.  Customers will make sure that all of their cars have a full tank of gas before disaster hits.  Which leaves little time for gas stations to prepare.  Here is a list that will help you prepare before and after a natural disaster.

Prepare Your Gas Station Before Disaster:

Gas Pumps or Dispensers:  Make sure to double-check that gas pumps or dispensers are anchored to the island.

Shear Valves: Manually trip shear valves under each gas dispenser.

Dispenser Doors:  Ensure gas pumps or dispenser doors are closed and locked.  Check that seals are in good condition.  If you are unsure about a seal use waterproof tape to secure it.  All seals need to stay closed.  It is important that the interior is protected against rain and wind.

Cover: Any openings that your gas pump or dispenser needs to be covered.  Use waterproof tape to protect the printer openings, cash acceptor openings, or more.

Tank Fill Caps: Check all storage tank fill caps when flooding could happen due to disaster.

Underground Storage Tanks:  In flood conditions, you must prevent underground storage tanks from floating.  Keep tanks as full as possible before shutting down or evacuating.

Signs:  Remove any signs that are on or near the gas pumps or dispensers.

Secure or Put Away: Secure or remove any station equipment that could blow away, like trash cans.

Records: There is the possibility that you may lose all of your electronic records, totals, and data.  Print out any vital information that you will need to restore your station after the disaster.

Convenience Store Equipment:  If you can put all of the convenience store equipment on countertops, in case of flooding.

Power Down:  Remove all AC power from all of your equipment before leaving.  Use safety lockout procedures as well.

After the Disaster:

Power:  If it was not done before evacuating, turn the power off to all equipment at the station.

Technician & Electrician:  Have a technician and electrician check the equipment before turning the power back on.  This way if any repairs are needed before it can be done easily.

Check Tanks: Check the tanks for water.  If there is water, eliminate it before an attempt to dispense fuel.  If contamination is heavy, the tanks may need to be completely emptied, cleaned, and filled with fresh product.

Hydraulic System:  Do not use the gas pump or dispenser if there is any possibility of water getting into the hydraulic system.  Pumping water will damage it.

Emergency Generators:  Use generators solely for lighting: they can cause damage to electronic components.

Filters:  Install new filters.

Repair / Replace:  Repair or Replace all damaged parts.

If your gas pumps or dispensers have been completely submerged in water, they should not be used.  Using reconditioned gas pumps or dispensers and parts will help you save money.  In the end, protect your gas station as much as you can safely.  Graffco, Inc. can help you with the rest.

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