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Preparedness is Key for 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season

With the start of the severe weather season, Virginia Natural Gas encourages customers to take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and their families safe
May 31, 2013

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1 through November, and forecasters are predicting an active period with 18 named tropical storms and nine hurricanes, four of them potentially major events.

Last year brought some of the most destructive weather on record, including Hurricane Sandy, which slammed into parts of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic and caused widespread damage and flooding. To prepare for the 2013 hurricane season, Virginia Natural Gas has readied its comprehensive emergency disaster plan, enabling timely response to severe weather emergencies, with the goal of maintaining safe, reliable natural gas service.

Virginia Natural Gas offers these guidelines associated with natural gas safety during a weather emergency:

Detecting Gas Leaks
  • Natural gas is injected with a distinct odor, which many people equate to that of rotten eggs. If the odor of gas is present, immediately leave the affected area and call the 24-hour emergency response line, at 1-877-572-3342 from a safe location.
  • Never try to identify the source of a leak yourself.
  • If the odor of gas is present, do not use a telephone or cellular phone, turn light switches on or off, operate any appliance or do anything that might cause a spark, such as lighting a match.
Call Before You Dig
  • Before removing downed trees, customers should dial the 8-1-1 hotline to have the location of underground utility lines marked, because downed trees could become tangled with the natural gas lines.
Meter Safety
  • Never attempt to turn your gas service back on by yourself. In order to restore service and relight appliances, Virginia Natural Gas customers are encouraged to know the location of their natural gas meter. Service personnel will need to have safe access to your home, and must have clear access to appliances and equipment. A responsible adult must be present at the location.
  • During a weather emergency, ensure the gas meter is visible, and the area surrounding the meter is free of trash and debris. Mechanical equipment used after the storm to clean-up a location may damage the meter if it is hidden.
  • If a natural gas meter is damaged or gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area and call the Virginia Natural Gas 24-hour emergency response number at 1-877-572-3342.
Appliance Safety
  • Customers are advised to leave their natural gas service on during a hurricane or severe storm. Most gas appliances have safety valves that shut off the flow of gas automatically if the pilot light goes out.
  • If flooding occurs at a residence or business and the gas appliances are under water, do not try to operate the appliances. Contact Virginia Natural Gas or a qualified service professional to conduct a safety inspection.

For more information on natural gas safety, click here.

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About Virginia Natural Gas

Virginia Natural Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), provides retail natural gas sales and distribution services to 275,000 customers in southeast Virginia. For more information, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com.

About AGL Resources

AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services, midstream operations and cargo shipping. AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states. The company also serves approximately 600,000 retail energy customers and approximately 1.2 million customer service contracts through its SouthStar Energy Services joint venture and Pivotal Home Solutions, respectively, which market natural gas and related home services. Other non-utility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers through Sequent Energy Management, ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities, and ownership of Tropical Shipping, one of the largest containerized cargo carriers serving the Bahamas and Caribbean region. AGL Resources is a member of the S&P 500 Index. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.

Media Contact
Duane Bourne
Cell: 757-955-0363
dbourne@aglresources.com