TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), the state agency that regulates and inspects Florida’s gas stations and fuel pumps, are strongly encouraging Floridians to consider adding a fuel plan to annual hurricane preparations.
Surges in consumer demand due to hurricanes can cause disruptions in Florida’s fuel distribution system. Early preparation by consumers will reduce the strain on fuel distribution, ensure fuel is available as needed, and reduce the cost of fuels that can increase due to sudden higher demand.
“We have all seen how panic-buying and sudden surges in demand for gas can cause disruptions to the fuel supply – which unfortunately happened earlier this year following the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline,” said Commissioner Fried. “Just as we encourage preparing for your family’s food, water, medical, and power needs before there is an imminent storm threat, we are also encouraging Floridians to keep their vehicles and generators fueled up throughout hurricane season. We can all take simple preparatory steps to help prevent a rush at the gas pump when hurricanes threaten, lessening the likelihood of potential supply shortages and pricing issues.”
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) recommends the following tips for hurricane preparedness, along with important fuel safety reminders:
- Keep all vehicles at least half full during hurricane season.
- Keep at least one vehicle filled with gasoline once the earliest predictions indicate a storm may threaten the state.
- Pre-purchase fuels (LP gas and gasoline) for generators at the start of hurricane season – properly stored fuels will last at least six months, and can be transferred into a vehicle for use should no emergency arise
- Use gasoline fuel stabilizer to keep gasoline fresh and ready to use when it is needed.
- Refill fuel containers on the ground, not in the truck bed or trunk.
- Transport and store fuel ONLY in appropriate containers – look for DOT approved containers that close tightly and do not leak.
- NEVER store or transport gasoline in milk jugs or open top containers.
- Store fuel in a safe and well-ventilated location.
Report Outages/Quality: To report fuel outages or quality issues before or after a hurricane, consumers should contact the department’s Division of Consumer Services at 1-800-HELP-FLA, 1-800-FL-AYUDA en Español, or FloridaConsumerHelp.com.
FDACS is Florida’s state consumer protection agency, responsible for handling consumer complaints, protecting against unfair and unsafe business practices, and more. FDACS handles over 400,000 consumer complaints and inquiries annually, oversees more than 500,000 regulated devices, entities, and products like gas pumps and grocery scales, performs over 61,000 lab analyses on products like gasoline and brake fluid, performs nearly 9,000 fair ride inspections, and returned over $2.8 million to consumers through mediations with businesses last year.