ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Fuel price aggregate GasBuddy announced it activated its Fuel Availability Tracker on Tuesday for Florida, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
The tracker, which is available through the GasBuddy app, identifies stations that do not have gasoline, diesel or power. This comes as thousands of residents in the trajectory of Hurricane Ian have been placed under evacuation orders.
The tracker is crowd-sourced, meaning it relies on updates from users. GasBuddy said in a press release that it encourages users to report the status of any station to help others find gasoline or avoid stations with no fuel or power.
Stations that do not have power or fuel will automatically display the station's status with a label that says, for example, "NO DIESEL" or "NO POWER."
There are two ways to report a station without gas, diesel or power.
Users can press the "Quick Report Button" on the GasBuddy app, but only if they are in the vicinity of the station.
Alternatively, users can report shortages and outages by pressing "suggest station edits" at the bottom of the Station Detail page for a specific station. From there, users can report the station's gas, diesel and power availability.
Fuel availability across the Tampa Bay area remains OK in advance of the impacts of Hurricane Ian into next week.
Gas stations from St. Petersburg to Tampa and across the greater region have gas available, according to GasBuddy as of Sunday. The price-tracking company’s “tracker” page shows most stations have fuel and power, which is expected well ahead of the storm and under typical Florida weather.
Since Saturday, there has been an increasing number of stations having limited fuel options.
GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan earlier tweeted the tool would be activated.
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday extended the state of emergency to the entire state and asked people to continue monitoring the latest forecast. This declaration, according to the order, allows the state access to emergency resources and support to deal with storm response.
“This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations,” the governor said in a statement. “We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to track potential impacts of this storm.”
The Florida Division of Emergency Management offered the following quick tips to be prepared:
- Make a disaster plan specific to your household
- Know your evacuation zone
- Keep your gas tank at least half full – for people with an electric vehicle, keep it charged at least 50-80 percent