National gas app trying to help those in need in Florida

By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service
September 13


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Fuel is moving into Florida, but the app GasBuddy shows nearly half the stations in major cities in the state are lacking gas.

Executives from the app were touring the State Emergency Center this week. GasBuddy was designed to help motorists find the cheapest fuel, but when storms started hitting, the company quickly realized it's users could help pinpoint shortages.

“This information is all being funneled to various levels of government now, to make sure everyone’s got really good information to make decisions on getting these fuel networks back to normal," said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy's senior petroleum analyst, said.

The program lists a station as green if it has gas and power, yellow if fuel is limited and black if there is no power.

"The lesson for us is to maintain services. We're going to have to beef up our capability," DeHaan said.

Availability and prices posted come from input from the apps' users and they're accurate only at the time of the post.

The app first added gas availability to the app during Hurricane Harvey in Texas. It also allows motorists to report price gouging, which it defines as at least 150 percent of the normal price for gas.

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