Carrie Rengers

Great Plains Industries ramps up production to help after hurricanes

Great Plains Industries sent this trailer full of fuel pumps and meters to Texas on Saturday to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Great Plains Industries sent this trailer full of fuel pumps and meters to Texas on Saturday to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. Courtesy photo

At least one Wichita company is helping Houston-area residents recover from Hurricane Harvey, and it’s gearing up to potentially help others if needed after Hurricane Irma.

Great Plains Industries has added another day to its production schedule for manufacturing fuel transfer pumps and fuel meters.

“We had to ramp up production in order to cover the increased demands,” says Brian Fedro, GPI’s product manager over fuel products.

Normally, GPI is in production four days a week for 10 hours at a time.

“Our shop floor gets Friday and the weekend off,” Fedro says. “Right now, we’re working Fridays.”

Next week, GPI is adding a Saturday shift, too.

“It comes down to being able to handle the fuel,” Fedro says of communities in need.

There may be fuel in hurricane-ravaged areas, but it may not be usable.

“Those tanks can become contaminated or inaccessible,” Fedro says.

GPI has fuel pumps that can be operated via power or batteries from the beds of trucks.

“We have solutions for … both applications,” Fedro says. “In events like Harvey and even Katrina, we’ve seen increased demand of our product.”

In addition to fuel pumps, GPI’s meters help after storms.

Fedro says those are “important for people who have fuel on hand already.”

For instance, for residents who have fuel and want to help their neighbors, the meters are a way to account for what they’ve used and see how much they have left.

Fedro says it’s a way for someone to “be able to help out his neighbors and be able to track who got what.”

GPI has sent more than 300 pumps and more than 600 meters to Texas since Hurricane Harvey.

With Irma, Fedro says the company is “trying to anticipate what’s going to happen a little bit.”

“I’m hopeful this storm … breaks up before it reaches the coast,” Fedro says.

If it doesn’t, he says, “We want to be ready to help service the demand if it becomes necessary.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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