If you’re one of the many Floridians who have had difficulty finding gasoline in advance of Hurricane Irma, the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association says be patient.
James Miller, a spokesman for association, says “there is plenty of supply.”
The problem has been the panic that has been associated with Hurricane Irma. With the uncertainty over Irma’s path, there has been a rush on gas pumps statewide, as opposed to a specific area.
“You had people from the Panhandle, to the Keys, to Jacksonville, rushing out and topping off their tanks and buying all the water they can. And, as a result, you had sporadic shortages of gasoline in the state as opposed to region specific,” Miller said.
“It’s not a supply issue because anytime in Florida we have on average about seven days worth of gas,” Miller explained. “Supply is not the issue, it’s just resupplying right now. It’s getting the trucks and the tankers into the state as quickly, but as safely as possible.”
Miller says anytime you have a storm, especially one that is the magnitude of Irma, people are going to panic. In this case the panic occurred statewide.
Add in last week’s images of flooding in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the panic becomes magnified.
“Harvey, I think, has scared a lot of people and justifiably. That was a horrible situation over there,” Miller said. “And I think people saw people weren’t as prepared in Houston as maybe they should have been.”
Miller says there is enough gasoline to supply the 10,500 gas stations and convenience stores in Florida.
He adds the same is true for bottled water. There was a demand statewide that resulted in empty store shelves. He says there is plenty of water as well.
“It’s coming. Just be patient. Trucks are on their way.”