Avoid the Threat of a Gas Shortage With a Few Simple Strategies

The Colonial Pipeline cyberattack left many U.S. citizens scrambling for the pumps, despite the announcements that there was no need for concern. The cyberattack happened Monday, May 6, 2021, and by Tuesday, the company paid the ransom. Once the ransom was paid, Colonial Pipeline could begin checking systems and reestablishing production levels, which took several days to return to normal. Unfortunately, the statements from the company and the government were not enough to stop the rush on local stations, resulting in many running dry.

It is essential to reiterate there was never any real threat to gasoline production levels. The panic buying that occurred drove the shortages in the southeast. The country saw similar occurrences during the pandemic, when panic led to a lack of paper supplies, despite there being no threat to the supply chain.

As all preppers know, panic is the enemy. Therefore, while any gas shortages are currently temporary, if still ongoing, it is better to learn how to cope in such situations should they happen in the future.

limit driving

If possible, don’t drive. You want to save the remainder of your tank for emergencies or necessary trips. Unfortunately, a gasoline shortage does not end the need for commuting, especially to work. If possible, ask your boss if you can work from home to save gas. Many employers might be understanding. 

If you cannot work from home, it is crucial to make the most of your trip. Plan your route, allowing you to use your commute to run essential errands. You also want to try and avoid traffic to limit idling.

maximize your current tank

You want to maximize every tank during a gas shortage, meaning you find ways to ensure you get the most miles from your current fillup. There are a couple of ways to do this: limit excess weight and shut off the A/C. 

According to the AAA, while weight reduction won’t affect the fuel economy too much for larger vehicles, small cars experience significant advantages. To remove excess weight, you’ll want to take out any bags or belongings from the trunk and inside the cabin. You can also remove roof racks or special carriers. Getting your vehicle as close to its original weight is best to preserve fuel economy.

The A/C and other systems force the car to use more energy, requiring more gasoline. If you want to improve fuel economy, open the windows and park in the shade. While it might not be comfortable in the hot summer months, it can help get you a few extra miles.

use public transportation

If you live in the city, use public transportation instead of your vehicle. Transportation authorities often have a supply and reserve of fuel, meaning they are not as susceptible to fuel shortages. 

Trains and buses are usually available in most metropolitan areas, making stops at most major intersections. If you cannot find fuel, you can likely find a bus or train to get you close to where you need to be.


If you cannot stay home and public transportation is not an option, you can choose to carpool. By sharing a ride, both drivers essentially double their current fuel. The best part of carpooling is if you can travel with someone who has a more fuel-efficient vehicle, meaning fewer required trips to the pump, especially when they might be few and far between.

Are you worried about a gas shortage or the repercussions of the Colonial Pipeline attack? Leave a comment and keep the conversation going.