Emergency fuel management should be at the top of your fleet company’s priorities. The recent hurricane seasons will go down as some of the most devastating in our country’s history. We witnessed entire communities losing their homes and businesses shutting down because they could not recover. We also witnessed a fine display of humanity, as emergency crews and ordinary people alike worked around the clock to rescue and restore everything back to some sense of normal. And we also discovered first hand the strain of low fuel supplies – especially to emergency crews and suppliers to the needy.
To ensure your company keeps going strong during emergencies, you need to take the necessary steps to ensure success. Here’s what you should consider:
This point seems obvious, but the reality is many fleets don’t have a proper, detailed emergency fuel management plan in place. You should know exactly how much fuel your fleet needs in an emergency, specifically one that limits or shuts off the supply of fuel. If no fuel can be delivered to your fleet for a week or longer, what safeguards do you have in place to ensure continuity. It’s also important to understand that in times of emergency your fleet may be required to operate well above its normal capacity, especially if you are a first responder or emergency fleet…or a supplier of some sort. Put a plan on paper and train your team to execute that plan if needed.
When Hurricane Harvey ripped through the Gulf of Mexico and into Texas, the devastation was unprecedented. Catastrophic flooding blocked off many major roadways and emergency crews worked around the clock for days on end to rescue and care for people in need. The demand on fuel was very high and the supply began to dwindle quickly. Many companies and fleets discovered first hand how detrimental a lack of fuel can be to their business. Plan ahead based on the worst case scenario to have fuel available when you need it, possibly for an extended period of time. What will take to fuel your fleet for a week or more if no fuel can be supplied? Start there.
On paper, it may may seem like it makes more sense to go with a cheaper fuel supplier so you can save money. However, in emergency situations, the balance sheet falls on the priority list. The best fuel suppliers often offer incentives to using their service, and most of the time the exchange is well worth it. For instance, a premium fuel supplier may charge a few more cents per gallon of fuel but offer same-day delivery and use of the vendor’s facility as a secondary fueling station. Availability is more important that money and could be the difference in keeping your fleet going, which will save you – and make you – much more money in the long run.
Another one of the most important aspects of choosing the right fuel supplier is priority. During emergency situations, the demand on fuel suppliers skyrockets. Everyone wants fuel delivered immediately and everyone wants to be the highest priority in the moment. When choosing an emergency fuel supplier, make sure they guarantee you will always be their number one priority. Again, this may mean paying higher prices, but eh cost of continuity far outweighs a few cents per gallon of few.
One of the best ways to ensure you’ll have fuel during emergencies is to keep it on site. If you know your fleet will require a substantial increase in fuel to keep going during an emergency, then install backup tanks at your fueling station location. It is best to have at least one week’s supply of fuel (including emergency generator consumption) on hand in your backup tanks. Keep them as full as possible, especially as an impending storm like a hurricane is approaching. Several fleet companies recommend not letting your emergency tanks drop below 40% capacity and regularly top them off.
The slew of hurricanes in the past few years have devastated communities and brought many organizations to a screeching halt. Plan ahead and partner with a fuel delivery company that understands emergencies and can make your company a priority when it counts. Moffitt Services has been the go-to fuel supplier in Texas and around the country when emergencies strike. Learn more our emergency fuel delivery services and find out why our customers won’t go anywhere else.