Natural gas may be a commodity that society cannot live without. This highly flammable fossil fuel component may have the capability of causing devastating consequences on an entire community of people, considering the fact that the pipelines for transporting natural gas are located underground. Several natural gas pipelines have been reported to be located near some of the most dangerous locations in the earth, such as those possessing the potential of catastrophic results. In the event of a major earthquake, partaking in cautionary measures may create a small amount of reassurance. Since the structure of the earth seems to be shifting quite a bit more often as of late, one may wonder if the architecture for natural gas pipelines running underground along are suitably made for such a “ground breaking” event. The United States Federal Agencies are presumed to have all the implications in corrective order in the event of an astounding natural disaster, but unfortunately it seems as though earthquakes may not appear on the list. Likewise, more mystery surrounds the question as to how much more harm than good would impose on the fate of humanity should one of those underground natural gas pipelines may be affected by an earthquake.
The Department of Transportation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Interior ‘s Minerals Management Services are all presumed to be responsible for overseeing the natural gas pipelines in the United States. Furthermore, these government agencies may be expected to uphold to the highest of standards for enforcing the rules and regulations that may pertain to the engineering of natural gas pipelines. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representing the United States has concluded in a report the refers to the engineering of natural gas pipelines that an earthquake may impose an outcome that may have more devastating harm than good. The report suggests that natural gas pipelines located beneath the ground throughout the United States are not designed to withstand the seismic force of an high-powered earthquake. It is said to be especially true for those areas of the United States where it may be unthinkable that an earthquake could possibly happen, specifically in the central and eastern portions of the country.
The report further suggests that proper protocol for some of the above-ground fuel natural gas systems should be given priority to ensure they are able to withstand the potent impact of substantial seismic activity. With information such as that stated above, it may be imperative to have a disaster plan in place even if chances of surviving a natural gas pipeline explosion in the event of an earthquake appears to sound dismal. FEMA does offers quite a few helpful suggestions on how to implement a rescue plan as well, but of course, there does not appear to be much of anything in the way of advice on how to survive an explosion in the middle of an earthquake. However, FEMA does recommend learning certain techniques, such as how to follow the guidelines on administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques and other various lifesaving tips. In any case, assisting anyone involved in a natural gas pipeline explosion may have good benefits that impose more than what may be imagined, especially if those benefits turn out to bring more harm than good.
Opinion by Stephanie Tapley