When it comes to hurricanes and their potential impact to our operations, Kinder Morgan is no stranger to the importance of being prepared. We actively train for the many contingencies and uncertainties that tropical weather can provide. Every year, we take a proactive approach to planning, preparation and response.
“Drills help us review the hurricane plan for areas of improvement and give our incident command team the opportunity to practice their response during a simulated emergency situation. They also allow us to build bench strength throughout the organization,” said Director of Business Continuity and Crisis Support Brent Beaver.
As hurricane season begins, our site-specific and corporate emergency response planning is focused on fortifying our assets located in hurricane-prone regions. This preparation includes updating emergency plans, employee training and drills to evaluate the effectiveness of our response processes.
When we determine the likelihood of hurricane impacts to a specific region, we rely on our contingency planning, emergency response strategies and incident command teams to secure equipment and monitor our ability to maintain operations. The safety of our employees and the public is always our primary focus. This process is also critical for our ability to maintain operations within our pipelines, terminals, and network operations’ control centers. These objectives are achieved through year-round testing and full failover drills at our backup sites and focus on meeting our obligations to deliver energy-critical products to the markets we serve.
Communication is the lifeline during a crisis and is critical to the rapid response and recovery of normal operations. We work closely with our employees, customers, local governments and regulatory agencies, keeping everyone informed with real-time updates utilizing the Incident Command System (ICS). The ICS structure allows different organizations (public and private) to use a common terminology and response structure that provides a more effective, efficient and safe response.
Kinder Morgan is committed to critiquing our response after each event by focusing on lessons learned so that we can continuously improve our processes and effectively respond to operational disruptions. We continue to invest in innovative technologies that play a crucial role in enhancing our infrastructure’s ability to withstand the fury of hurricanes. An area where we have seen exciting potential, and have continued to develop, includes our Geospatial Information Systems or GIS, which has been a great tool in projecting storm impacts to our assets.
When a hurricane approaches, Kinder Morgan stands ready. The dedication of our emergency response and field operations teams is the core to our ability to maintain our assets during hurricane season. Armed with robust plans and a collaborative spirit, we are fully capable of responding effectively, resuming normal operations and restoring customer service as a choreographed team.