NPRA: Lessons Learned from Last Year’s Hurricanes


Refineries and petrochemical plants affected by the hurricanes that hit the U.S. Gulf Coast last summer and fall learned some valuable lessons, and the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association has synthesized that experience in Hurricane Security Operations, a planning and crisis response guide that is available in PDF format from NPRA.

In time for the official opening of the 2006 U.S. hurricane season at the beginning of this month, NPRA published its Hurricane Security Operations white paper to assist the industry in getting plants back on-line quickly and safely, even in the face of a catastrophe.

The white paper addresses pre-hurricane planning and recovery operations. It recommends that facilities take certain specific steps to prepare for an impending threat, including establishing an emergency management team; assessing facility security; enhancing logistics; establishing multi-modal communications options; coordinating with key personnel; and verifying that links are established to community and government agencies.

The paper offers specific suggestions on topics such as transportation and personnel preparation, money, and communication equipment; theseare solid summaries based on the experiences and insights of NPRA members in 2005. As one security manager told NPRA, We hoped we were as prepared as possible, but as with any emergency, there are always going to be areas for improvement.

Post-hurricane damage assessment and repairs, and facility and personnel security are addressed in the recovery operations sections of the paper.

An addendum provides a sample list of logistical materials that facilities may want to stock on site. The list includes the obvious (batteries, backup generators,rubber boots and rain suits) and the not-so-obvious (ladies cotton panties and sports bras and mens briefs and T-shirts in a range of sizes).

NPRA, based in Washington, D.C., has more than 450 member companies, including virtually all U.S. refiners and petrochemical manufacturers. The 20-page NPRA white paper is free and available in PDF format from the NPRA web site, For a copy, click here.

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