Disaster Planning: Lessons from the Eye of the Storm
Part 3: Disaster Preparedness: Expand Fuel Supply for Storms
Disaster Preparedness: Expand Fuel Supply for Storms
By Chris Matt, Associate Editor - November 2008 - Power & Communication
With more generators comes the need for more fuel. Before and during Katrina, Ochsner had a 60,000-gallon fuel capacity. With no gas stations close to Ochsner open for more than a month after the storm, officials had to drive out of town to purchase fuel for the generators. As with the generators, the fuel supply also needs to be mobile, Walker says.
Ochsner still has a 60,000-gallon supply underground, but another 100,000 gallons are available to move within the system. After Katrina, Ochsner bought three 500-gallon fuel tanks on trailers — one for unleaded gasoline and two for diesel fuel — to avoid having to struggle to move fuel between generators.
“We literally had to take a forklift with a 55-gallon drum to lift this diesel fuel from generator to generator to keep them running,” Carpenter says. “After that happened, we bought three 500-gallon tanks on trailers. We bought the pump to go with them.”
Carpenter also says it is imperative for managers to measure the amount of diesel fuel generators will burn when they are operating.
“You really need to calculate the diesel-fuel burn,” he says. “We added a fourth generator, and then we had the three portables. We’re burning almost a thousand gallons an hour. We have about 55,000 gallons of diesel fuel. It doesn’t take long to burn that up.”