NCDA&CS launches fuel station locator app

by | Sep 4, 2013

In the middle of a disaster, one of the first things that happens is the power goes out. When the power goes out, so do ATM machines, grocery stores and gas stations. While most people gas up their vehicles before a disaster hits, extended power losses can quickly cause problems for communities and for emergency responders who need to refuel.

The NCDA&CS Emergency Programs Division partnered with the N.C. State Energy Office to create a smartphone app that maps fuel stations across the state. They also collected data to find out which stations have backup power or are pre-wired to run off of generator power. During power outages, emergency responders can use the app to find conventional gas stations with potential generator power.

The app will also allow people with alternative fuel vehicles to find the nearest station and, using Google maps, to navigate from their current location. Fuel types include gasoline, diesel, E-85 ethanol, biodiesel, compressed natural gas, electric, liquefied natural gas and liquefied propane.

The data was collected from the NCDA&CS Standards Division database of gas stations and publicly available databases from the US Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center.

The app is available for Android and Apple devices. And since this information needs to be accessible during power outages, individuals can download maps to their phones so they can be used offline.