By Lauren Young
NEW YORK Nov 2 Looking for gas in places that
have been hit hard by Sandy? Instead of waiting in line, go
Crowd sourcing is the best way for drivers who are looking
to fill up their tanks or get fuel for generators to find the
most up-to-the-minute information.
On Twitter, some hashtags to find gas include: #njgas,
#nygas, #nycgas and #brooklyngas. In addition, you can follow
the Twitter accounts of @GasBuddy and @njgas. Other Twitter
handles such as @brooklyngas and @nygas don't have many
followers - but, as of Friday morning - were pumping out
information. (Pun intended.)
A caveat: Stations run out of fuel quickly.
"As soon as someone gives us a lead, they follow it and get
there, and there's not always gas," says Michael Sandler, a
lawyer who started the @njgas Twitter account earlier this year
to monitor gas prices in his area.
Sandler advises gas-hungry consumers to avoid rest stops on
major highways. It's not worth it to wait three hours in line,
A better alternative is to drive to less storm-affected
areas that have gas - obviously, if you have enough in your tank
to get you there.
"I almost hesitate to say it, but I'm off Exit Four in New
Jersey. Almost everything has power, everything is open, and
there are no lines at all," Sandler says. "There are probably 25
gas stations within five miles of us that have gas."
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management has a list of
gas stations in the state online at:
What about smart phone applications for finding gas? More
than 23 million people have downloaded the GasBuddy app, which
helps consumers find cheap gas via crowd sourcing, says
co-founder Jason Toews. (The app - along with the GasBuddy.com
website - is sourced by data from volunteers, including 1.1
million spotters in the Northeast, according to an email update
If a station has been updated on GasBuddy within the past
few hours, there's a good chance it has fuel.
Yet Toews admits the app isn't the best way to find stations
that are stocked right now.
"The gas stations don't have a way to let us know there's no
gas - if it's a digital sign, they'll just turn it off," Toews
says, adding that he hasn't seen a fuel situation so dire in
GasBuddy's 12-year history, aside from Hurricane Katrina.
Less than 40 percent of the 2,944 gas stations monitored by
motoring group AAA had both power and fuel. In New York City, as
few as a third of the stations were able to sell fuel for one of
two reasons on Thursday.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday tankers are
returning to the New York harbor with deliveries of "millions of
gallons" of fuel. He said some 200 gallons of gasoline were
offloaded today in Newburgh, New York.
But consumers may need to wait a few days for the long lines
"It will take a good, solid week before gas is reliably at
all stations," Toews says.