Tampa, FL-US - May 12, 2021: Sign at gas station stating "Out of Gas" due to shortages stemming from the cyberhack of the Colonial Gas Pipeline.
There are times when preparation is necessary but when disaster has already occurred, preparation changes into response. We suffered an attack on our infrastructure this week as Russian criminals attempted to disrupt our supply chain capabilities through shutting down our access to fuel. That was not the real problem.
The problem was the panic that quickly ensued in the general public. Had the voices of reason prevailed people would have kept level heads and only bought what they actually needed. There was no need to run every gas station from Maryland to Florida completely dry. Alas, this week gas became as toilet paper was last year and panicked shoppers rushed to fill every container they owned. Some even decided to fill plastic bags. This is not the way to navigate an emergency.
It is always a good idea to live in a constant state of preparedness. We definitely recommend keeping your vehicle tanks topped off and perhaps even storing one tank’s worth in a safe and ecologically responsible way.
Remember that gasoline is flammable. It must be transported and stored in containers specifically designed for that purpose. Allow room in the container for air which allows for expansion with changing temperatures. Keep the container tightly sealed and store it away from any kind of ignition source or spark. It is not the liquid fuel that ignites but the vapors it produces. A detached garage or shed would be an ideal location for storage. Try to keep it as close to room temperature as possible because temperature swings will cause expansion and contraction. Do not improvise on gas containers. Aside from the fire and explosion hazard, gas spills do a tremendous amount of harm to the environment and must be treated as toxic to people and animals.
The time to prepare your household is when life is calm and you have all the time in the world to make rational decisions. You will be glad you did. When everyone else rushes out to buy whatever is currently in demand you can smile and relax. Your needle won’t even move.
Remember, calm is contagious but panic kills.
Check Freedman is the COO of Captive Audience Prevention Training and Recovery Team, the NHQ, Senior Program Manager for Critical Incident Stress Management and Resiliency for the United States Air Force Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol) as well as an armed and unarmed combat instructor. She is a technical scuba diver, a multi-engine instrument pilot, crisis hostage negotiator, private investigator, Certified Missing & Exploited Child investigator, Critical Incident Stress Debriefer, Emergency Medical Response Instructor, Search and Rescue Ground Team Leader and a travel security specialist. She is the co-author of Survival Ready: Life-Saving Skills and Expert Advice for Surviving Any Threat at Any Time with Billy Jensen, survival expert and former Green Beret.
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