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Atmos Energy Urges Customers to Prepare for Isaac
Safety Tips for Natural Gas Customers Bracing for Storm
BATON ROUGE, LA (August 27, 2012) – Atmos Energy, the largest natural gas distributor in Louisiana, is keeping a watchful eye on Tropical Storm Isaac as it moves across the Gulf of Mexico bringing with it substantial rain, damaging winds and the potential for flooding.
"The safety of our customers, employees and communities is our number one priority. We are monitoring the storm and our crews are implementing the first phase of our emergency response plan as we prepare for the hurricane," said Tom Hawkins, Atmos Energy’s president of the Louisiana division. "We urge Louisiana residents to take steps now to ensure their personal and family safety and the protection of their property before the storm hits."
Natural gas distribution pipelines are mostly underground, Hawkins said, but can be damaged by uprooted trees and shifted foundations. In addition, fallen limbs and other debris can damage gas meters and associated piping near homes and buildings.
Below are recommended guidelines associated with natural gas before and after severe weather to ensure safety:
- Atmos Energy customers should leave their natural gas service on during a hurricane. Most gas appliances have safety valves that shut off the flow of gas automatically if the pilot light goes out.
- If you smell gas, immediately leave the affected area and from a safe location call 911 or Atmos Energy’s 24-hour emergency response line, at 1-866-322-8667. Do not try to identify the source of a leak. Do not use a cellular phone or anything that might cause a spark, such as a generator.
- If flooding occurs at a residence or business and the gas appliances are under water, do not try to operate the appliances. Contact Atmos Energy or a qualified service professional to conduct a safety inspection.
- If a natural gas meter is damaged or a gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area and call the Atmos Energy 24-hour emergency response number at 1-866-322-8667.
- Customers are encouraged to know where their natural gas meter is located. Ensure that the gas meter is visible and the area surrounding the meter is free of trash and debris. Mechanical equipment used to clean up after the storm may damage the meter if it is hidden.
- Before removing downed trees, customers should Call-811 to have the location of underground utility lines marked. Gas service lines could become tangled in the roots of downed trees.
- Atmos Energy customers experiencing a natural gas outage or service
interruption should contact the company's 24-hour customer service number at 1-888-286-6700. Customers will be restored as quickly as possible once the area is deemed safe.
About Atmos Energy
Atmos Energy Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, is one of the country's largest natural-gas-only distributors, serving about three million natural gas distribution customers in over 1,400 communities in nine states from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West. Atmos Energy also provides natural gas marketing and procurement services to industrial, commercial and municipal customers primarily in the Midwest and Southeast and manages company-owned natural gas pipeline and storage assets, including one of the largest intrastate natural gas pipeline systems in Texas. For more information, visit www.atmosenergy.com. Atmos Energy can also be accessed through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
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