Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – When weather starts to pose a potential threat, local industries step up their communications while also keeping an eye on the radar.
Members of the Lake Area Industry Alliance are local trades, businesses and companies that serve the Southwest Louisiana community. Having such a big impact that reaches even beyond this region, it’s important for the industry to be prepared for the worst.
When a major weather event appears to be on the horizon, local industries start preparing, just like people at home, only their plans are bigger and more complex.
“So, when we knew that Laura was going to be a major hurricane, we did take the steps necessary to do a complete shutdown of our refinery – which that doesn’t happen very often,” Megan Hartman, Phillips 66′s public relations director, said.
With Phillips 66 being one of the partners of the Lake Area Industry Alliance, Hartman said it’s important for all of the industrial plants to work together in prioritizing safety when having to shut down.
“We are definitely trained and prepared for worst-case scenarios ‘cause that’s the nature of our business – is to be able to protect our community,” Hartman said. “When you go down to a complete shutdown, that’s several days, maybe over a weeklong process, to safely get everything back up in running. So, you don’t just turn a switch.”
Shutting down any of the plants is a process the industry takes very seriously, especially since all the industries here have the potential to impact one another.
“The biggest thing is communication, especially whenever you’re enduring a prolonged crisis like a hurricane. Communicating with one another because all of your processes are affecting each other. So, that’s really a great thing that Southwest Louisiana has.”
Hartman adds having that communication is what helps the industry to have a good relationship with the community and allows them to work together when a disaster strikes.
Written by Andrea Robinson