As part of the government-wide effort to assist the response and recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy, the Energy Department has established a team to assist local authorities in their efforts to get help get gasoline stations back online.
With residents experiencing long lines at gas stations in the impacted areas, the federal government is taking immediate steps that will provide relief in the short term at the President’s direction, and working with the Department of Defense, the National Guard and the Governors of New York and New Jersey. As part of that effort, the Energy Department has established a team that is helping state and local officials identify gas stations that are in need of emergency generators to restore power or are running short on fuel supplies.
This new effort includes a new toll-free number that gas station owners and managers along the East Coast can now call if they need assistance from state and local officials in restoring power or securing supplies of gasoline following Hurricane Sandy. Station owners or operators can now call the Department’s toll free hotline at 1-866-402-3775 to report their condition. As information is collected through the toll free hotline, it will be shared with FEMA’s Energy Restoration Task Force for assistance coordination with local and state authorities so that they can direct response resources like generators and fuel to those affected gas stations.
The federal government also has provided hundreds of generators to help critical infrastructure sites and fuel stations operate until full power is restored. Information collected from gas station owners and managers who call 1-866-402-3775 and report their condition to the government will help direct the distribution of those generators and other resources.
The Department of Energy is also working with industry partners to ensure that the infrastructure to deliver petroleum is up and running to meet fuel demands. Normal operations have already resumed at two major refineries in Delaware and New Jersey, and pipeline companies have restored services to six pipelines servicing New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and north to Maine. On Friday, the President declared that Hurricane Sandy has created a severe energy supply interruption and directed the Energy Department to loan the Department of Defense ultra-low sulfur diesel. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) was directed to purchase up to 12 million gallons of unleaded fuel and up to 10 million gallons of diesel fuel for distribution in areas impacted by the storm to supplement ongoing emergency work and private sector efforts. Fuel has begun to be distributed throughout New York, New Jersey and other communities impacted by the storm.
Federal partners are also working closely with Google Crisis Maps to help identify which gas stations are operating for the general public, which has also been embedded on the Energy Department’s web site.