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June 1st marked the official start of hurricane season, are you prepared?

Hurricane Season

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will likely be below-normal, but that’s no reason to believe coastal areas will have it easy. “A below-normal season doesn’t mean we’re off the hook. As we’ve seen before, below-normal seasons can still produce catastrophic impacts to communities,” said NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D. Hurricanes can cause power outages, flooding, or other events requiring you to take additional safety measures.

If your home uses propane, here are some simple steps you can take to keep your family safe in the event of a hurricane.

Before a hurricane: Be Prepared

  • Create and emergency preparedness plan and review it regularly with your family. Post a list with contact information for your propane retailer and emergency services (fire department etc.) Include instructions for shutting off propane, water, and electricity. If you need to turn off your propane, always contact a service technician to inspect your propane system prior to turning it back on.
  • Have an adequate supply of propane in your tank. During and after a hurricane, propane and other types of fuel may not be readily available and roads leading to your home might not be accessible for delivery.
  • In flood zone areas, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) requires that large above-ground and underground propane tanks be anchored securely to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Contact your propane retailer for more information.
  • Review this brochure for more information on what you should do before, during and after the hurricane.

During: When a storm approaches

  • If a hurricane threatens your safety, you should shut off the gas. If it is safe to do so, turn off the main gas supply value on your propane tank. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise). Turn off the gas supply valves located near individual indoor appliances. Consult your propane retailer to make sure you know where the actual valves are located and how to shut them off. If your gas comes from a metered pipe system, consult your propane retailer on how to shut off the gas.
  • You may need to evacuate your home or farm. Always listen to your local authorities, or television and radio stations, for on instructions of the appropriate course of action to take. Whether it is determined that you should stay or leave, you should shut off your gas.
  • Never use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas. This could result in CO poisoning or death. These include outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators. Only use appliances indoors that are designed and approved for indoor use. Don’t store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.

After: Once the storm has passed

  • Use caution when returning to your home or farm. If you have any doubts about your safety, leave the area immediately and have your property inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before re-entering. Take the time to carefully evaluate the condition of all the structures on your property. If it is dark, use flashlights, not candles.
  • Look carefully around the entire area. Check for downed power lines; they can create major safety hazards. High winds and floods can move, shift, or damage gas lines and tanks. Immediately call your local utility company or propane retailer if any of these hazards exist.
  • It is important to schedule a time for a qualified service technician to perform a complete inspection of your propane system if you suspect any of your propane appliances, equipment, or vehicles have been under water or they have been damaged, or you have turned off your gas supply. The technician can also perform a leak test on the system and re-light your pilot lights. Do not use or operate appliances, equipment, or vehicles, or turn on the gas supply, until your system has been inspected by a qualified service technician.
  • If any questions arise, contact your propane retailer or local fire department.

 

For more information on what to do to prepare for a hurricane, or other severe weather events, contact your local AmeriGas office. To view the complete list of hurricane safety tips visit www.propanesafetyfirst.com.

Promote safety all season long, follow these simple steps.

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Wordless Wednesday

 

AmeriGas Propane Exchange

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Prepare Your Home for Floods

 

Flood

In the wake of the substantial flooding that has recently occurred in Texas and Oklahoma AmeriGas wants you to be prepared. In all, 37.3 trillion gallons of water have fallen over the state of Texas in May, the National Weather Service said. After more than a week of devastating rain, more than 4,000 properties were destroyed. Here are some quick tips about ways to prepare your home before, during, and after a flood.

Before:

  • Create an emergency preparedness plan and review it regularly with your family in order to keep them safe during a potential disaster.
  • Know how and where to shut off the outdoor propane supply and indoor propane appliances. For more information, contact your propane retailer.
  • Make sure that you and your family know what propane smells like. Propane has a strong, unpleasant smell like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal.
  • Review the flood safety brochure.

During:

  • Shut off the gas!
    • Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
    • Turn off the gas supply valves located near individual indoor appliances. Consult your propane retailer to make sure you know where the actual valves are located and how to shut them off.

After:

  • If you suspect any of your propane appliances, equipment, or vehicles have been under water or they have been damaged, or you have turned off your gas supply, schedule a time for a qualified service technician to perform a complete inspection of your propane system. The technician can also perform a leak test on the system and re-light your pilot lights.
  • Do not use or operate appliances, equipment, or vehicles, or turn on the gas supply, until your system has been inspected by a qualified service technician.
  • If you find a propane tank on your property that is not yours, or if your propane tank has become dislodged or is missing, contact your propane retailer or your local fire department immediately.
  • Inspect your propane appliances for water or other damage, if it is safe to do so. If the appliances have electric components and have been exposed to water, they can create a fire hazard.

 

For more information on what to do to prepare for a flood, or other severe weather events, contact your local AmeriGas office. To view the complete list of flood safety tips visit www.propanesafetyfirst.com.

Promote safety all season long, follow these simple steps.

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Happy National Burger Month!

Many of you may not know, but May is National Burger Month! AmeriGas wants you to celebrate it all month long by trying some great grilling recipes with your AmeriGas tank. Here are some interesting facts you may not know about the hamburger:

  • The hamburger originally came from Hamburg Germany
  • The idea of placing the burger in the bun came from America
  • Burgers were initially eaten quite raw until the 1880’s
  • The English and the Irish were the first to cook burgers well done
  • The Hamburger hall of fame is located in Seymour, Wisconsin
  • Burgers account for about 40% of all sandwiches sold

Make sure when you are grilling your delicious burgers you are outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Never grill or store a tank in any enclosed areas (including trailers, tents, houses and garages). Ensure that the grill is firmly in place. It should be stable enough not to be tipped over.

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Celebrate Memorial Day with AmeriGas

AmeriGas is proud to be your grilling partner this Memorial Day. However, this weekend is not only about having a cook out with friends and family, but also remembering the brave men and women who fought and are still fighting for our great country! Let’s remember where this holiday began:

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were informal, not community-wide or one-time events.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

 (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)

On behalf of the AmeriGas family we would like to thank all of the service men and women who have fought, and are still fighting to keep us safe.

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AmeriGas adds AutoGas fueled vehicles to fleet

AmeriGas has purchased 50 new Ford F-550 trucks equipped with ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel systems. The new trucks will feature cranes to deliver propane tanks to customer sites across the nation and add to AmeriGas’ 35 other trucks that were deployed at the end of 2013.

“AmeriGas’ fleet is one of the largest in North America. We are excited to transition to a cleaner, domestic and value-priced alternative fuel,” says Jay Massey, corporate fleet manager for AmeriGas. “As a propane marketer, we strongly believe in the autogas initiative.”

Over the lifetime of the Ford F-550 vehicles, more than 12.7 million pounds of carbon dioxide will be eliminated from AmeriGas’ total carbon footprint.

“By fueling with the product it supplies, AmeriGas is proving to its millions of customers that propane as an engine fuel is realistic and being used today in their communities,” comments Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech. “Propane autogas is a readily available, abundant transportation fuel source with lower operation and ownership costs. And AmeriGas is at the forefront of implementation.”

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Bozeman lawn company first to convert to propane mowers

Some say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. But for one lawn maintenance company, the mowers on this side of the fence just got a whole lot greener.

Bozeman Site Services announced this week that it completed the conversion of all its lawn mowers from gasoline to propane power, reducing the company’s carbon footprint significantly while also reducing costs, said owner Doug Duschene.

“It’s going to get us into the green category without costing the customer more,” Duschene said.

Propane mowers

Wes Eckhardt, operations manager with Bozeman Site Services, installs a propane tank onto a lawnmower.

Duschene’s company appears to be the first in Montana, Wyoming or South Dakota to convert all its mowers to propane, a move that has been growing in popularity on the coasts — and particularly in smog-stricken California — over the last few years, despite its relative newness for use in mowers, said Tim Shea, account manager for AmeriGas.

Duschene made the decision at the beginning of this winter to convert his mowers, looking for “better ways to not pollute,” he said.

According to Shea, one of Duschene’s industrial gas-powered mowers releases roughly the equivalent in emissions of 40 late-model cars each hour before the conversion.

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Introducing Propane Bobtail Drones

A couple of years ago AmeriGas announced our new iPropane hose-free propane delivery system.  However, follow up on testing of that technology did not measure up to our high standards and so the project was shut down before rolling out nationwide.  Today, we’re proud to announce that we’re undertaking a bold and new initiative in propane distribution: semi-autonomous drones!

Like tech industry-leader Amazon, which is currently testing drones for package deliveries, AmeriGas is exploring the potential to use drones to deliver propane to homes and businesses nationwide.  Our vision is to gradually replace our fleet of 1,000s of bobtail trucks with drones.  Each one would be outfitted with a steel tank virtually identical to the barrels on bobtails and capable of carrying between 2,400 and 3,000 gallons of propane.  A rough mockup of one potential configuration that we are considering is shown below.

Cutting edge propane industry technology

AmeriGas bobtail drivers are beginning now to start training to become certified drone pilots.  Drivers (or rather drone pilots) will maneuver the bobtail drones to customer locations, hovering over tanks, while the tank is filled.  The pilots will still perform their pre-fill safety inspection then push a button to drop the hose from their drone rather than have to pull it from a bobtail truck.  We estimate that the time savings by eliminating the work needed to drag and retract hoses will be significant.

Once again, AmeriGas is proud to be part of another first in the propane industry with drone-based delivery.  While we are still in the testing stages, please let us know if you are interested in drone-based deliveries and we’ll include your home or business in our upcoming trial.

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Tampa Bay’s First Propane Fuel Event

On February 4, 2015, the Tampa Bay Clean Cities Coalition (TBCCC) held Tampa Bay’s first ever propane fuel event.

Hosted by the City of Tampa Fleet Maintenance Facility, the learning luncheon gathered 60 TBCCC members and industry stakeholders from the public and private sectors for an informational session on propane fuel.

Daryl Stewart, Chief of Operations for the City of Tampa Department of Solid Waste & Environmental Management, and Tim Perry, City of Tampa Fleet Manager, welcomed the group.

“The City of Tampa and the Solid Waste Department believe that alternative fuels are not just cost effective for business, but also just the right thing to do,” said Stewart. “With over 137 vehicles and growing, we realized it’s time we determine our own destiny. This is why we are dedicated to our partnership with the TBCCC.”

Steve Reich, TBCCC Coordinator, followed with general updates on the coalition. He also encouraged stakeholders to take advantage of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offer to rebate up to 50% of the incremental cost of an original equipment manufacturer NGV or propane vehicle, or the cost of converting a vehicle to run on natural gas or propane. The program allows up to $25,000 per vehicle and $250,000 per applicant per fiscal year. Of the funds available for these rebates, 40% is reserved for government applicants and the remaining funds are allocated to commercial applicants.

Guest speakers also discussed the different aspects of propane use in business.

David Rigney, National Autogas Account Manager for AmeriGas, gave an overview of autogas, or propane vehicle fuel, detailing the physical properties, benefits, advantages, and safety considerations. He also covered the features of autogas dispensers, safety protocols, and the general process to dispense autogas.

“Refueling a propane vehicle takes about the same time as refueling a gasoline vehicle,” said Rigney. “Many people don’t know this, but propane is the only alternative fuel with fueling stations located in every state.”

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Convert to Propane this Mowing Season!

Thinking of making the switch to propane for the upcoming mowing season? Vansant’s, a lawnmower sales and service company, now offers Metro Lawn Propane Conversions at their location in Douglasville, GA. Vansant’s sells landscaping equipment– from mowers to arborist supplies – along with service and propane mower conversions.

Vansant’s owner and operator Mark Engram, completed a propane conversion on a re-powered Scag Tiger Cat. Engram was very pleased with ease of the installation and the appearance of the converted mower. Metro Lawn’s team; Chris Heirs, John Byrd, Ralph Poole, and conversion trainer Dave Calver were on site for the conversion and training. Vansant’s is certified on propane conversions and now offers Metro Lawn Propane Conversions on all major brands of equipment.

Metro Lawn, part of AmeriGas, offers training from our experts on propane conversions with ongoing support for all certified trainers, along with propane fuel support. Propane is a clean burning fuel and will reduce operating expenses and maintenance costs. Propane increases fuel savings – propane costs about 10-20% less than gasoline. It also reduces greenhouse emissions up to 70%.

Find out more about Metro Lawn Propane Conversions at www.GoGreenMetroLawn.com. Contact our Metro Lawn national account managers to find out your savings when you go green with your mowing needs.

If you are in the Atlanta area and are interested in propane conversions, contact Mark Engram and his professional team at (770) 942-2060. Or go online to www.vansantslawnmower.com.

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