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NREL's Federal Fueling Station Data Supports Superstorm Sandy Recovery

January 22, 2013

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, millions of Americans remained without electricity as emergency responders, security officials, and regular citizens all experienced a lack of access to vehicle fuels.

As fuel shortages spread and lines grew at the few fueling stations that had electricity, officials from General Services Administration (GSA) Fleet and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) National Protection and Programs Directorate contacted the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) hoping to locate additional fuel provisions from private and federal facilities. FEMP then tapped NREL to provide data on the locations of federally owned fueling infrastructure in the area to locate additional fuel provisions from private and federal facilities.

Armed with this information, the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection was able to help decision makers determine strategy and coordinate access to federal and other private facilities for emergency response, national security, and other vehicles essential to the disaster recovery efforts organized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Meanwhile, GSA confirmed that federal fueling infrastructure in the disaster-stricken area was experiencing similar problems as retail fueling stations, namely lack of power and supply. However, the promptness with which FEMP was able to supply this information, and the details that federal agencies provide to FEMP on the locations and characteristics of their fueling facilities were crucial to organizing the disaster response. For example, having phone numbers available to contact stations in New York and New Jersey enabled disaster response officials to efficiently decide their next steps.

“NREL aggregates and analyzes many forms of federal fleet data—including federally owned alternative fueling infrastructure locations, garaged vehicle locations, and fuel purchase locations—and then integrates the data into effective reports and tools that fleets utilize to identify missed alternative fueling opportunities and maximize reductions in petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions,” said NREL’s Navid Ahdieh. “Aside from this perpetual mission, the immediate access to this accurate data managed by NREL also served an important role in the Sandy disaster response and recovery effort.”

For more information about FEMP’s federal fleet reporting data, contact Mark Reichhardt at DOE or Navid Ahdieh at NREL.

For the latest federal fleet news and events, visit the FEMP Sustainable Federal Fleets website.

—Devin Egan