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  • Writer's pictureAndy Murphy

How American Families Can Survive The Gas Crisis

Getting Your Family Ready for a Gas Crisis

In the United States, we've been on quite a trip for the last few months. We’re living in a Hank Willimas Jr. song. Interest is up and the stock market’s down and you’re only getting mugged if you go downtown. And to add fuel to that fire, the national average for gas is more than $5 for the first time ever.

So far the country has been able to maintain a fuel supply. Yes that supply is lower than normal and the cost is higher, but there is fuel at the pump. And generally, we’ve still maintained a high demand for gas.

You’ll remember in May of 2021 there was a ransomware attack on a fuel supplier that caused a short-term fuel shortage on the east coast. This is when we saw pictures of people trying to pump gas into trash bags. Remember that shining moment in American history?

So gas prices and shortages cause crises. Why is that and what can we as Protector Parents do about it?

What Does A Gas Crisis Really Mean?

What a gas crisis actually means for Americans is restricted or no mobility. And that’s a big problem.

Over the last 80 years, we’ve become a country of commuters. While cities boast large numbers of pedestrians, most of us drive to work every day. It’s a family tradition to jump in the car, drop the kids off at school and then drive further to the office.

The average national commute is 27 and a half minutes. We’re all spread out thanks to infrastructure, the automotive industry, and telecommunications. That means our jobs, grocery stores, and medical facilities are out of walking distance.

And if we can’t power our cars, we’re stuck where we are with no way to gain income or buy what we need. All of a sudden things get pretty isolated in the land of opportunity.

So mobility drives our economy and gas is the essential lifeblood. Without it, our economy weakens along with a whole host of other economic and societal problems.

Pain At The Pump

To say there’s tension at the pump right now is an understatement. In the past, I’ve shared how we can stay safe at the gas station. I encourage you to listen to episode 146 of this podcast where Greg Williams and Brian Marren of Arcadia Cognerati and I share how to survive the gas station. It’s a really good discussion and you’ll benefit a lot from it. I’ll let you listen to that show to learn the basics, but now we have a new threat that we need to talk about.

Because everyone is so fed up with gas prices and how they affect our daily lives, we now have to include someone breaking bad or getting whisky bent and hell bound and carrying out an act of violence at a gas station. It’s not just car thieves and scammers anymore. So when we’re at the gas station we need to be more aware than ever.

So put your phone away, lock the car doors that are not in use, and keep an eye out for someone who’s about to hit their boiling point. If your car is secure and your head is up, you’re going to look like a hard target and that is always a good thing.

I suggest trying to get gas at off times which is not rush hour or your lunch break. Maybe fill up on the way to church or mid-afternoon on Sunday if you can help it. The fewer people that are around, the better off we’ll all be.

Awareness Is More Important Than Ever

Recently, there’s been a popular video of a man in a yellow shirt being ambushed by three guys at a gas pump. Detecting and avoiding an ambush is hard. When it’s done by three people who have a plan, it’s nearly impossible.

This guy was able to get away, but the thieves ended up with what appeared to be a firearm and his car. Before the attack, this guy seemed to be demonstrating very low awareness as he pumped gas.

I’m not going to critique this guy’s fight for his safety, because that’s not what I do. I will remind everyone that if you’re not chosen as a target, then you’ve won the fight before it starts. When I pump gas, I walk around the car, look at the other drivers around me and I bet I look like a weirdo. And that’s fine because who wants to attack the weirdo?

Hurricane Season

Now let’s turn the conversation to the weatherman. A while ago now I shared a clip from CNBC of two people discussing the future of gas prices. The guest made a very valuable point.

If we have to shut down an oil rig in the Atlantic because of a hurricane, it’s going to cause catastrophic changes to our lives.

Our fragile gas supply is almost maxed out and if we shut off production of that inventory, prices will skyrocket, panic buying will spike, and that supply will dry up. Not to mention mass shortages in states where evacuations might be mandatory.

And gas will get used up from other states that will send fuel to cover those evacuation areas. So a single hurricane will cause a ton of damage even in states that won’t see a drop of rain.

So to keep your family mobile in the event of a natural disaster, you need to have at least half a tank of gas at all times. Not just for hurricane areas, but for wildfire territories as well.

If you are a follower of Patrick McNamara, then he’ll tell you that you should have ¾ a tank at all times. With tensions and prices being what they are I feel half a tank is doing really well. Do what you can to not be a panic buyer because your gas light is on.

Also, plan your day as much as you can so you take care of all of your driving errands at one time. That way you’re not up and down the road wasting gas and you can keep more in your tank, longer.

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Andy Murphy

Andy Murphy founded The Secure Dad in 2016 with the aspiration to help families live safer, happier lives. What started as a personal blog about family safety has turned into an award-winning podcast, an Amazon best-selling book, and online courses. He focuses his efforts in the areas of home security, situational awareness, and online safety.


Andy is a husband and father. His interests include coaching youth basketball, hiking, and trying to figure out his 3D printer.

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