Managing Fuel Amid an Unprecedented Crisis
This turbulent world that we live in forces us to take a pause and reevaluate the base needs in our lives every so often more than not. At the core of base needs, you will always find essential services such as those that provide clean drinking water, gas, electricity, food supplies and somewhere there on the very short list is fuel supplies. Let’s not kid ourselves, they’re all important but in the greatest city of the world in the grips of a pandemic that has put planet earth on attention and hold, New York City is still heating it’s residents in a chilly March that seems to get chillier as the bad news spreads. And if oil isn’t heating it’s providing hot water and it’s keeping emergency service generators prepared for further combat in this unknown war which could stretch it’s fingers out across the year to, well the next heating season for one.
The bottom line is that fuel oil, gasoline, on-road diesel, etc. all become more of a commodity because they provide us with comfort. The comfort of knowing that we’ll have that generator start-up when we need it because we have fuel. And we’ll know how long we’re going to be able to run it before having to think of getting resupplied. As gasoline prices drop most people will keep a full tank because (A) it’s a good time to buy it at a low price and (B), it’s just good to have on hand when needed. Long Islanders found this out after Katrina shut us down for what seemed to be an endless pair of weeks with endless lines of cars waiting to gas up. Supply lines get disrupted in times of crisis and even the act of touching a gasoline hand pump could potentially be a dangerous thing to do these days. You just don’t want to go out for anything. You want to know that your tanks are all on “F” and that the fridge is stuffed. Although fuel oil shortages have not been an issue due to its essential classification, it’s a good time to not depend on the outside world. It’s good to know what you have in your tank as much as it’s good to know how much many you have in the bank during an emergency.
In the wake of hurricane Katrina in 2005, Petro-Meter was approached by a group of equipment companies in the greater New Orleans area immediately after the devastation of the storm. The initiative was to rebuild the battered facilities within the seawall barriers at Lake Pontchartrain. The bid included pumps, emergency diesel tanks and of course, equipment to gauge the tanks with. We were any easy choice. A hand-pump operated, self-contained remote reading tank gauge could operate with loss of major grid power and if self-generated power became a need, there were gauges to service those tanks as well. We don’t like emergencies but we’re always glad to help the community with the reliability of our products when they are needed. We’ve been around since 1926. We’ve seen some things. After superstorm Sandy knocked the power out across the New York metropolitan area, Petro-Meter tank gauges could still be counted on to obtain remote tank readings thanks to the simplicity of their self-contained method of operation. In times of crisis it’s always good to know what resources are on-hand, what’s running low and what needs to be replenished whether we’re in the grips of a powerful atmospheric disturbance or a deadly pandemic that’s all but paralyzed our way of life.
There’s no doubt that we will get through this situation while learning some powerful new lessons. Much like 9/11 brought us a new sense of awareness regarding the realities of our co-existence on this planet, so will the Coronavirus pandemic. We will certainly stop taking certain things for granted such us hygiene, personal space and our interactions with the rest of society. In the meantime, we have a period of reflection at hand as we’re told to stay put and stay with our families and “hunker down”. It’s a good time to stock up goods that eliminate our need to venture out and put ourselves at risk. It’s also a good time to know that our vehicles are fueled up and that our heating oil and emergency diesel tanks are topped off if not close to capacity while we see how the situation continues evolving around us. In any case these are times for the implementation of measures that will give us the assurances that we need going forward. Even if summer’s heat attenuates the virus’s innate ability to spread from population to population it will still be around us as every authority in the health sector warns us. Without a vaccine or proven cure on the horizon, the summer will seem like an instant and before we know it, we’ll be heading into another fall and winter. These are the seasons were bugs like to flourish and it’s not because of the low temperatures reflected on the mercury, but because people tend to huddle closer together when it’s cold.
Let’s hope that a medical solution is found soon and that we can return to the normalcy of our every day lives even if for a semblance of what it was before. We will, without a doubt change because of it. In the meantime, let’s let cool heads prevail and be ready for what comes. Let’s plan accordingly, reduce our social excursions and keep it close to the heart this year. Let’s keep it home and let’s make sure that we have those things that are most important to have at home. This includes everything from sanitary items to consumables and yes, the assurance that we have fuel. Whatever type of gauge you have works and if you don’t have one stick your tank when in doubt. Don’t get caught unprepared in case the haul is longer than anybody can predict right now. Be safe.