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Kevin Rooney
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Flood Preparation, Recovery, and Safety Tips for Heating Oil Consumers

Washington, D.C., September 1, 2010 With the threat of Hurricane Earl reaching the East Coast, the Energy Communications Council (ECC) reminds heating oil consumers about the importance of disaster preparation and safety tips to follow in the event of a flood.

Because water can damage your heating system, the right preparation for possible flooding can significantly help protect your family, your property, your business, and your heating equipment. ECC encourages homeowners and businesses relying on heating oil to remember the following tips:

Preparation before a flood
• If you must evacuate, turn off the heating oil supply valve at the tank before flood waters rise.
• If you must evacuate, turn off furnace or boiler emergency switch.
• Particularly in FEMA designated ‘flood prone areas,’ the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that basement and above-ground heating oil tanks should be ‘anchored to resist movement’ resulting from a flood condition.

After a flood
• If oilheat equipment has been flooded, be sure to shut off the tank service valve if you did not do so before evacuating.
• Look for any visible structural damage. If the tank has shifted, lines are bent or damaged, or you notice anything else unusual, contact your heating oil retailer immediately.
• Damage to pumps, filters, and electronic controls is a significant problem caused by flooding. Heating oil appliances and equipment that have been underwater should be inspected by your professional retailer before being placed back into service.

For more information regarding safety tips, contact your local heating oil dealer, your state or regional heating oil association, or visit and

The ECC is comprised of the New England Fuel Institute, the Delaware Valley Fuel Dealers’ Association, the Empire State Petroleum Association, the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey, Oil Heat Comfort of Long Island, the New York Oil Heating Association, Inc., and the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, and is funded by NORA.

Brought to you by NORA, established to develop clean and efficient oilheat technologies and provide information to oilheat consumers.

National Oilheat Research Alliance ECC is funded in part through the National Oilheat Research Alliance.