For the last week or so, it has been tough living in Atlanta. Since Hurricane Ike, Atlanta has been running out of gas. Supposedly damage to the refinery and distribution of gasoline has been hard hit on our southern coast. Refined gas is then delivered to Atlanta and as far away as Virginia via the colonial pipeline. The refinement of oil to gasoline is impaired and output is probably in the range of only 45 -55% of pre-storm levels. So we have a shortage. That is tough when the town you live in runs on gas. You really need a car. First of all, Atlanta is a town where you must own a car. Our mass transit system has a limited reach and getting around town without a car is next to impossible. Unlike other cities, we have no major bus systems or light rail systems. There are no major medallion taxi fleets - so without wheels you are stranded.
Each day if you go out on the road to go to the office more and more gas stations are closed. Those that are open have lines, some are longer than others. Tempers are flaring and police are showing up to keep persons from losing their cool and breaking up fights. That s something I never thought I would see again since the end of the 1970's. Gasoline in Atlanta and suburbs is still running over $4 a gallon when you can find it. Many service stations will only have high test gas at over $4.49 a gallon, most stations have none. There have been reports of price gouging at almost $8 a gallon, and yet there seem no signs of this abating anytime soon.
The government has shown absolutely no leadership in this crisis. If they did, they would have instituted an ODD / EVEN plan with a 10 Gallon limit. Such a simple plan that has worked elsewhere in times of crisis should have been in place a few days ago to relieve the stress.
Since Atlanta is a car town, the vehicle is a life line to get to work, pick up kids from school, show homes in real estate, get groceries etc. Since the government is not involved - it is up to us to act responsible. We must realize that even supplies in grocery stores may be in short supply if products cannot be delivered to market. This the real thing. So lets see how we can affect change until this temporary crisis is over.
Here are Some Suggestions for Gas Crisis:
- Government needs to get involved - show leadership!
- Institute a 10 Gallon gasoline limit on odd / even days. (License ends in odd or even number) Vanity word plates would count as even numbers.
- Cities and municipalities go to a temporary 4 day - 12 hour a day work week
- Encourage working from home whenever possible.
- Put kids on school buses.
- Eat at home - suspend restaurant runs.
- Suspend after school activities until crisis is over. (band, sports etc)
- Suspend Grass cutting.
- If you own more than one vehicle - park the boat and use the more economical vehicle when possible.
- Encourage car pools
- Consolidate trips and errands - coordinate shopping trips with neighbors.
- Eliminate non essential trips.
- Do not use air condition in car.
- Do not top off gasoline in auto when above ½ a tank. Don't hoard gas!
- Change driving patterns and habits - Accelerate slowly.
- Slow down - speeding wastes gas!
- Do not idle auto - shut off when standing.
- Do not store gasoline - fire hazard
James Crawford ABR, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Paramount Properties
1605 Mansell Road Suite 106
Alpharetta GA, 30009
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