One of the biggest stories to emerge has been the scramble for gas in the aftermath of the storm. I’m 28, and this is the first time in my life I have seen “No Gas” signs at stations or endless lines of cars waiting for fuel. I also have never seen people standing in lines with red containers, desperate for gas to keep generators going at home.
I never witnessed such fear and panic over fuel before, a worry that kept me up at night, too. It also made me keenly aware of how precious our resources really are. My generation has been spoiled. I have renewed appreciation for my energy-efficient Honda Civic and have felt a wave of anger at people speeding down the highway in big, gas-guzzlers like it was business as usual.
To conserve gas, I made myself a more patient driver. I drove slower; I eased up on the brakes. I avoided using my car; I worked from home. Those were the easy adjustments to make, though. I have friend who lives on Staten Island, where many neighborhoods were totally devastated. I wanted to drive there on Sunday to join her and help with the relief effort, but concern about the dwindling gas in my car kept me home. My excuse seemed so absurd.
This fuel crisis has been a scary, but essential experience. Everyone needs to have such a jolt during their life. I know I’ve had mine.
(A gas line of dozens of cars waiting gas at the Mobil station on Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains on Nov. 1, 2012. Photo credit: Theresa Juva-Brown)