Propane Shortage - State Establishes Public Hotline
Friday, January 31, 2014
The cold winter is a growing
concern for Minnesotans who use propane to heat their homes as prices rise and
long-term supplies are stretched. As a result of Governor Dayton's declaration
of a State of Peacetime Emergency, state agencies are ramping up efforts to
The State Emergency Operations
Center (SEOC) is now partially activated to coordinate the state response. The
partial activation means that the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Homeland Security and Emergency Management division (HSEM) coordinate efforts
of state agencies. HSEM is in contact with state, local and voluntary partners
to coordinate any potential resource requests. HSEM officials held a
conference call with emergency managers from all 87 Minnesota counties along
with representatives from not-for-profit organizations and many state agencies.
There are currently no requests for state assistance.
Governor Dayton declared a
State of Peacetime Emergency in Minnesota on Monday in response to the
persistent cold weather and the increased risk households may run out of
heating fuel, a situation that would pose immediate threat to public safety.
People who use propane to heat
their homes can take several steps at this time, including the following:
- Conserve energy as much as
- Turn down thermostats and be aware of your propane use.
- Reach out to family and friends
- Check on your neighbors.
- Check with your local emergency
management agency to find resources in your community.
- Call 9-1-1 only in a crisis
The State Fire Marshal (SFM)
reminds residents to use caution when using alternative heating sources such as
- Keep anything flammable --
including pets and people -- at least three feet away from heating
- Make sure portable space heaters
have an automatic shut-off.
- Turn portable heaters off when
leaving the room or going to bed.
- Space heaters need constant
- Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep.
- Never place
a space heater close to any sleeping person.
- Make sure all cords on electric
heaters are in good shape and checked periodically for any frays or breaks
in the insulation surrounding the wires.
- Check the cord and outlet
occasionally for overheating; if it feels hot, discontinue use.
- Place the heater on a level, hard
and nonflammable surface, not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or
- Use a heater that has been tested
to the latest safety standards and certified by a nationally recognized