September 24, 2008

Don't let the gas panic scare you

Yes, getting gas in Asheville is troublesome.
BUT...panic won't solve anything.

Yes, lines were disrupted from the hurricane; yes, there is a shortage; yes, we are having trouble getting our gas through our regular Colonial Pipeline because it flows at 4 mpg. But there is no need to hoard gas, or top-off, or close government offices and schools. That worsens the shortage, creates more panic, and the cycle goes on. Most of us don't use more than a tank a week, and by staying home a little more, consolidating errands, and even just carpooling you'll make that gas stretch long enough (another week or so) that the pipeline and gas stations will more likely be back to normal by the time you actually are at the end of your tank.

I've heard so many reasonable blogger-types saying this sort of thing, but I think the general media, as a whole, is neglecting to say what locals need to hear. Instead, local and national words of gas shortages and fear are scaring people and fueling the panic. We just need to keep cool heads on our shoulders and we need to keep our money flowing into our local economy (go out to dinner, go buy a few things downtown). The Ashvegas blog does a good job of explaining this.

I find it hard to believe that the hundreds of cars that line up at gas stations every day actually NEED gas that day. Don't top off - if your tank isn't low, stay away from the stations! Don't hoard, drive less, make your gas last another week. If you don't have to drive and can use a different travel option, even carpooling, just do it!

photo from Asheville Citizen Times Web site. This station only has 2 pumps. Also, note the police car.

Ways to find gas in case you're unlucky enough to really be at the end of your tank:
  • Mountain Xpress gives Twitter updates on gas (if you are a Twitter user, or want to become one)
  • Text @ashevillegas to 44636 from your mobile phone (it will cost you money if you don't typically get free texting)
  • Eric from Asheville has a Facebook group (if you are a Facebook user, or want to become one)
  • Citizen-Times online article asks you to report where you found gas, updates article list pretty regularly

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