FILE: Aaron Berg fills up a gas can and his portable generator Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, in Houston as Hurricane Harvey intensifies in the Gulf of Mexico. Harvey is forecast to be a major hurricane when it makes landfall along the middle Texas coastline. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

State looks to increase emergency gas supplies after Irma shortages

Hurricane Irma is a perfect example of why it’s a good idea to prepare today at the start of hurricane season.

If you were in Southwest Florida after Irma, chances are you spent time waiting in line, for gas, for food.

Some residents said it felt like chasing your tail sometimes, trying to find out which stations had gas, in enough time to get in line and fill up before they ran out.

MORE: Stock up on emergency supplies before hurricane season

What’s being done about that this year in case we get hit again?

From Lehigh Acres to Lely, people just waited and waited.

Hurricane Supply list

“Harvey hit just before that.. So already the supplies were a little bit low,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Experts at AAA say last hurricane season was the perfect storm,”First Harvey knocked out the ‘refinery region’ … Cutting back fuel supplies … And driving prices up 40 to 50 cents a gallon, then Irma set its sights on us.”

While most stations ran low on gas many didn’t completely didn’t run out.

The shortage was in part because Florida doesn’t have the infrastructure to store big quantities of gasoline.

But new this year, Scott wants to look at additional storage at Florida ports, identify critical gas stations along state evacuation routes, and work on more efficient fuel servicing during emergencies to get fuel out to the gas stations as fast as possible.

DOWNLOAD: Printable hurricane supply checklist 

On top of the costs and logistics, gasoline goes bad in the same way food does. You can’t store it for long periods even if you build the tanks.

More generators at grocery stores and gas stations helped, compared to Charley and Wilma years ago. But getting supplies to them largely has to wait until we all know where the storm will hit and moves through. Which means if it happens again we will likely all wait in lines again.

Reporter:Chris Cifatte
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