SURVIVING THE STORMS: How to prepare for getting gas during a hurricane

Published: Jun. 19, 2019 at 8:40 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - When a hurricane is approaching, one of the first things on everyone’s mind is gasoline.

It can be a scary thought: running out of a gas while trying to evacuate during a storm.

Gifford Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, or LOGA, said planning ahead is key when preparing for a hurricane.

“Nobody wants to evacuate their home, so a lot of times you end up waiting till later on to make that decision to leave," Briggs said. "And the longer you wait, the higher the likelihood you’re going to be in long lines at gas stations.”

Just like you go to the store to get milk and bread ahead of a storm, gas for your car and backup generators should be high on your planning list.

Sometimes, however, all the planning in the world can’t help once a storm hits, and gas stations lose power, gas, or both.

After Hurricane Michael in 2018, many gas stations throughout Florida and Georgia were shut down.

“We’re out here waiting trying to get some gas, so we can move our vehicles," said Stan Moore, who lived in Albany, Georgia. "Don’t have any gas on the border, struggle, trying to find gas all over the city. Nobody had any, waiting in a long line to get some.”

The few stations that did have gas limited the amount you could buy, and were only accepting cash.

One helpful tool if you find yourself in that situation is Gas Buddy.

The app has a feature that shows you the gas stations in your area with and without fuel and power, which can save you from wasting your gas driving around trying to find somewhere to fill up.

Another piece of advice from Briggs is to know your evacuation routes, and the gas availability along them.

If you’ll be traveling through a more rural area, don’t wait until you need gas to fill up.

“If you’re in some of the smaller communities, until you get to a larger interstate or highways, there may be a bit of a challenge," Briggs said. "Certainly, you’ve got to be aware of your surroundings, know what your evacuation route looks like. It may be one way for one storm, and one way for the other. Be able to plan accordingly.”

Some of the biggest takeaways are to always plan ahead, filling up soon and often.

Carry cash with you in case that’s all stations are taking and gas containers in case you can’t get your car to the station.

Be aware of your surroundings so you’re never caught without gas, with no stations in sight.

And, during hurricane season, always keep a few canisters of fuel filled up and stored in a safe place at your home, ready to go if a storm approaches.

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