BROOKNEAL, Va., Nov. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In the hours after Superstorm Sandy bludgeoned New Jersey and New York City, government officials realized that the area faced an unprecedented need for supplies and support of every kind. At the top of the long list of requirements was fuel supply to keep relief efforts moving forward and allow citizens to get to work and school.
That's when over 340 fuel trucks arrived from all over the country, mobilized by Foster Fuels from a small town in Central Virginia. Literally within one week of being awarded the prestigious Outstanding Readiness Support Award for Small Business from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Foster Fuels' chrome and red tankers were wet with New York snow.
Having been in recent years the United States' leading emergency fuel supplier to relief and recovery operations, Foster Fuels had gained experience responding on both government and private levels to hurricanes Gustav, Ike, and Katrina—as well as deploying their emergency fueling operation in Haiti to support the US Armed Forces recovery effort there. In 2012 alone, the Brookneal company had provided key, around-the-clock fuel supply after Hurricane Isaac and the 4-state summer derecho.
"We knew Sandy was going to be our biggest challenge yet," admitted Watt Foster, Jr., president of Foster Fuels, "But all of the natural disasters to which we've responded had prepared us for this moment and its demands."
The Virginia fuel company's trucks and employees dispersed across the region to strategic locations like FEMA and Red Cross staging areas, data centers, grocery stores, and Verizon communication sites. They also deployed tankers to hospitals to supply generators and the vehicles of medical staff. Long lines formed behind their trucks at retail gasoline sites deemed critical by government officials.
Foster Fuels also coordinated fueling centers at both Citi Field and Met Life Stadium, which had been converted into city and state Office of Emergency Management Logistical Staging Areas for generators and other emergency equipment as well as emergency shelter for hundreds of displaced people. The trucks were pumping fuel for both the generators and the first responder vehicles, heading back out into the aftermath. "This is one of the contributions people don't see," said Robert Kasdon, Vice President of Security for the New York Mets "But if these people—like the NYPD—can't get to work, they can't bring help to the victims. That fuel was a huge part of the whole effort."
In all, they dispensed over 4 million gallons of fuel in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Yonkers, Long Island, and Staten Island. In so doing, a town of 1,100 people helped cities totaling over 10 million residents.
"You hate the circumstances that require us to be here," said Foster, "At the same time, though, it feels good to come through for people in their time of need—to contribute to them getting back on their feet."
Foster Fuels' support at military installations like Ft. Dix and Ft. Hamilton attracted both praise and a visit from Vice Admiral Harnitchek, Director of the DLA. In a November 23 release by DLA Energy Public Affairs, Hartnitcheck noted, "With trucks already at the FEMA-identified staging area at Joint Base Dix/McGuire, DLA's response was immediate."
DLA Energy Americas Commander, Ron Ross, commented, "The fuel support relief operations went great." Ross added, "We kept pace with everything that was thrown our way."
Watt Foster is available for comment or interview at (434) 376-2322 or [email protected]. A collection of journalistic photographs from the staging areas and fueling centers is available for editorial use. Foster Fuels has been a family-run business since 1921, providing residential, commercial, agricultural, transport, and emergency fuel service. More information about Foster Fuels can be found at www.emergencyfuelservice.com.
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SOURCE Foster Fuels