Across the South East motorists have pulled into gas stations only to see bags covering the handles of the pumps or long lines of cars out into the streets. As you have undoubtedly heard, the Colonial Pipeline has been shut down over the past few days due to a ransom attack. Now that Colonial has paid the ransom, they have begun to bring the lines back into service, however this is a slow and methodical process that will leave shortages in place. Coupled with the shutdown and driver shortages, increased panic has driven up demand and exacerbated the issue at hand. According to Reuters, “Most of these states/areas with outages have continued to see panicked buying, which is likely a contributing factor to the slow-ish recovery thus far,” said GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan. “It will take a few weeks.”
This panic has sparked people to make irrational decisions to hoard gasoline. As seen here, people are using anything they can get their hands on to capture any fuel available to them without thinking about safety. According to an article on Yahoo, “”Safety should always be the highest priority when handling gasoline or other fuels,” says Dan Marshall, vice president of marketing and business development with Scepter. “You simply cannot safely fill up and transport open containers of fuel. Buckets, milk jugs and other household items are not meant to handle fuel…”For safety sake, you should never use any container other than a tested, certified fuel container for fuel storage. The multi-layered construction of approved fuel containers are the only way to safely transport and store fuel.” While it is understandable to feel uneasy and to worry about a fuel shortage, it is important to remember that this issue is temporary. Please remember that if fuel is going into a container to use an EPA approved container for that product. These chemicals can be very hazardous to your health if used inappropriately. Typically, red containers are for gasoline, blue containers are for kerosene, and yellow containers are for diesel fuel. While these are the typical colors, it is always better to read the container to make sure you are staying safe.