Did you know that Americans purchase more than 15 million portable fuel cans each year? In years when hurricanes make landfall, sales run about 30 percent higher. The familiar red gas cans that are part of most storm preparation and recovery kits could soon be in critically short supply. The Portable Fuel Container Manufacturers Association is alerting emergency management officials to supply chain issues that threaten their ability to meet consumer demand in the event of an active hurricane season.

Blitz USA, the manufacturer of 75 percent of the consumer gas cans sold in the U.S. each year, entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall. If the company’s reorganization efforts fail, there will be a severe shortage of consumer gas cans as early as this summer. Other manufacturers face similar uncertainty. When disaster strikes, gasoline-, kerosene- and diesel-powered equipment and generators ensure communities get back on track quickly. If gas cans aren't available, disaster victims will still be transporting and storing fuel, but at much greater risk to themselves and everyone around them.
With the start of hurricane season right around the corner, we thought we'd share these tips:
Gas Can Safety Tips

Every approved gas can is imprinted with safety guidelines approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), which clearly state NEVER USE GASOLINE TO START A FIRE, as well as other warnings about the dangers of mixing gas and fire. No gas can or other device can guard against the hazards of misuse. The following are critical measures for safe handling of fuel:
  • To avoid static electricity ignition, do NOT fill a gas container while it is inside a vehicle, a vehicle’s trunk or pickup bed or on any surface other than the ground.
  • Use only an approved container with a cap that fits tightly.
  • Keep your filled container a safe distance away from the vehicle, other customers and traffic.
  • Keep the nozzle in contact with the can during filling, and only fill the container about 95 percent full to allow for expansion.
  • If gasoline spills on the container, make sure it is evaporated before putting it in your vehicle.


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