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COVID-19 Message to Propane Customers   Learn More »

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Propane and resilience

A propane standby generator can save a business thousands of dollars by keeping the doors open and the lights on.

In areas where natural disasters have occurred, architects and building owners have discovered the value of designing and operating more durable commercial properties. From a business perspective, this makes sense: A business can’t afford to lose valuable equipment, inventory, or infrastructure.

Yet resilient building is about more than “sturdiness.” Resilience is the ability to function after or during an ongoing natural disaster or accidental power outage. Propane is locally stored and readily available in the event of a catastrophic failure of the grid. A propane standby generator can save a business thousands of dollars by keeping the doors open and the lights on.

A reliable propane standby generator is a key part of resilient design, allowing a business to:

  • Resist hazards brought on by major disasters.
  • Keep employees engaged and productive during what would otherwise be downtime.
  • Continue providing necessary services and products to its customers.
  • Reduce the magnitude or duration of a disruptive event.

Propane’s role in emergency scenarios

The Federal Emergency Management Agency used propane-fueled mobile RV units to house personnel working at the USNS Comfort docked in New York Harbor and at other sites during the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kleynia R. McKnight.)

Although propane is perhaps best-known for protecting homes, hospitals, and critical infrastructure with standby generators, propane companies are well-equipped to quickly respond to other emergency energy needs. Propane companies frequently work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or other government contractors to provide heat for temporary structures, fuel for mobile kitchens, and hot water for mobile showers and laundry facilities, for example. During 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic, propane provided critical energy for temporary overflow hospitals and testing sites.

The response during these emergencies is likely to involve federal, state, or local governments; equipment vendor and rental facilities; disaster recovery and mitigation contractors; and insurance companies. Partnering with these responders, propane companies can consult on tank sizing options, safe placement, and permitting, and they can supply and install the equipment needed to connect the propane fuel source to heaters or other propane-powered equipment.

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