West Michigan native to analyze gas shortages in Florida

A sign shows pumps out of gas, Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, in El Campo, Texas. Gasoline prices in the U.S. have risen to new high amid continuing fears of shortages in Texas and other states after Hurricane Harvey's strike. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


CHICAGO (WOOD) — An app that many rely on to find the cheapest place to fill up is getting involved with Hurricane Irma operations.

The Senior Petroleum Analyst for GasBuddy, Patrick DeHaan, is heading to Tallahassee to analyze the app’s data and send information to local governments dealing with shortages.

Typically the app is used to search gas prices, but currently drivers in the south are reporting outages.

“Thankfully there’s so many people submitting data to us that it’s empowering us to analyze it and then send it to the government and even the Department of Energy and try to help them understand and look at a real picture of what is going on there when it comes to fuel,” DeHaan explained.

This will help them determine where more supplies need to go.

DeHaan noted technological advances like the GasBuddy app ultimately will help people get to safety.

“Think about Hurricane Andrew in 1992. There was none of this technology and I’m sure there were people in the same situation. They didn’t know where to get gas. They wasted more gas trying to find gas,” DeHaan said. “Ultimately at the end of the day you look at this technology and you think that if we can empower people to be able to find stations to get gas and get out of the way that perhaps we’re giving people information that keeps them safe.”

DeHaan added there should not be any impact at the pump in Michigan or other states because of Irma.