Fuel Finders Finding Ways to Help

Published in CSP Daily News

GasBuddy, AAA, social media look to lend a hand to motorists affected by Sandy

By  Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Special Projects Coordinator

NEW YORK-- As motorists in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy deal with fuel shortages and hours-long waits, fuel-price website GasBuddy.com has deployed a tool to help locate sites where gasoline is still available.

The Fuel Shortage Tracker, available at www.gasbuddy.com/sandy, allows users to search for stations with fuel by city, state or ZIP code. Visitors to the site can also report if a station is open, closed or out of fuel. A map of the region shows through green (fuel), red (no fuel) and gray (unknown) icons which sites have fuel available.

Because of the approval process for smartphone apps, the Fuel Shortage Tracker tool will be web-based only at this time, GasBuddy said, although the company is looking to add it permanently to its app in the future.

GasBuddy is also working with gas stations to keep their information updated, it said.

Co-founder Jason Toews told Reuters that he has not seen a fuel situation so dire in GasBuddy's 12-year history, aside from Hurricane Katrina.

Consumer motor club AAA also has been monitoring station availability in New York City, New Jersey and Long Island. Click here for updates, including its list of open gas stations as of Nov. 5.

And crowd sourcing is a way for drivers in the affected region who are looking to fill up their tanks or get fuel for generators to find the most up-to-the-minute information, said Reuters. On Twitter, some hashtags for finding gasoline include #njgas, #nygas, #nycgas and #brooklyngas. In addition, consumers can follow the Twitter accounts of @GasBuddy and @njgas, @brooklyngas and @nygas.

Meanwhile, the federal government--including the Department of Energy (DOE), Energy Information Administration (EIA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)--has, of course, been keeping tabs on station status on several levels. To monitor the disruptions to the supply chain for gasoline because of Hurricane Sandy, EIA implemented an emergency survey on Nov. 2 to monitor the vehicle fuel supply conditions in the New York City metropolitan area:

*On Nov. 5, 24% of gas stations in the New York metropolitan area did not have gasoline available for sale. None reported they were not selling gasoline because they had no power.

*On Nov. 4, 27% of stations did not have gasoline available for sale. None reported they were not selling gasoline because they had no power.

*On Nov. 3, 38% of stations did not have gasoline available for sale. Of the stations sampled, 62% had gasoline available for sale, 3% were not selling gasoline because they had no power, 10% had power but no gasoline supplies, and 24% did not respond to attempts to contact them.

*On Nov. 2, 67% of stations did not have gasoline available for sale. Of the stations sampled, 34% had gasoline available for sale, 3% were not selling gasoline because they had no power, 10% had power but no gasoline supplies and 53% did not respond.

Click here for additional updates.

By Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Special Projects Coordinator
View More Articles By Samantha Oller