Hurricanes are disruptive. They can cut off access to necessities such as fresh water, food, and medical care. They can cause flooding, which delays the recovery process, makes transportation difficult, and keeps schools and businesses closed. Aside from basic necessities, hurricanes can also disrupt industrial gas production and delivery. In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of major hurricanes, but because coastal locations provide continuous access to water, easy transportation, and accessibility, gas suppliers and manufactures are sometimes located in affected areas. They can support a variety of industries, which means that when operations are halted, the effects can be devastating and widespread.
Many air separation plants, which are located near the Gulf of Mexico, feed the refineries in the area. When hurricanes occur, production can shut down completely. Argon, a byproduct of air separation, is already a relatively scarce resource, and the loss of this resource is very problematic.
During Hurricane Harvey, AirGas (now owned by Air Liquide) sent out letters to their customers, cautioning them that they would only have 20% of their normal argon supply. If the customer required more for their business, they would have to find it elsewhere. For RMA, this created an influx of calls from those searching for alternative argon suppliers, and we were able to help these customers during this emergency.
In addition, New Orleans is home to some top U.S. industrial gas manufacturers and suppliers. The location is ideal for transporting, but production can be greatly affected by tropical storms and hurricanes in the summer. When hurricane Ida hit in 2021, a variety of industries saw disruptions. To restart operations in the aftermath of these types of storms, producers need to get personnel back on site, assess and repair damage and restore utilities. These initiatives take time, especially when issues, such as flooding, linger. Even if the facility is in a safe location, the loss of utilities can cause substantial delays.
Rocky Mountain Air Solutions is a distributor of industrial gases in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, and Nebraska. We strive to serve our partners with flawless dependability. We are inland based, which can benefit those on the coast during storm season. While any gas shortage is difficult, Rocky Mountain Air will do everything possible to ensure that you have your gas when you need it. We are committed to serving our customers and providing innovative solutions. Industries we serve include cultivation, energy, oil and gas, food and beverage, industrial, medical, and more! If you’d like to partner with Rocky Mountain Air Solutions or are in need of short-term assistance, please contact your local branch today. We look forward to serving you!